Taps: 22 / Bottles: 100
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: Y
Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 22 | Display Reviews Only:
4.86/5 rDev +3.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | $$
One of the best beer-geek bars I've been to. An amazing assortment of drafts, and a great selection of tough-get bottles - all 20% off if you're taking them home. No sports vibe, or chain feel, just a bar dedicated to the love of beer. The cheese plates looked good, we didn't eat, and they had a neat guide for pairing brews and cheese. Our bartender was very knowledgeable. If you're a true beer geek, you'll love this place. Not to be missed.
04-09-2014 18:18:39 | More by Mantooth
4.36/5 rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | $$$
I'm trying to temper my review so I don't make this sound like beer-ven on earth, but damn what a cool spot. I'll start w/ the cons - can get crowded quickly due to rising popularity and smallness, and a few beers are gonna set you back. However, those are trivial complaints. If you're from out of town and visiting hit this spot for the basics, they gave a large selection of taps and bottles and there will be diamonds in the rough for most BA'ers. Now what seperates this beer bars from others in the area that make it a must-go for locals and tourists alike? First the serivce - the servers walk around the place rather than maintain a few table so I had 3 servers BS w/ me (knowledgeable and friendly) and never was left w/ an empty glass. Second, the vibe - no TVs or shitty music here; they have laid back music in the background w/ soft lighting and everyone is close so it's a communal, tightknit effect that doesn't create a zombie atmosphere (just go to a beer bar where everyone watches sports or can't hear b/c of music). Also, unlike other beer bars around here, this place has two things going for it that make it top notch to me. They keep their selection up-to-date as possible so much that I saw a server erase the draft list (on chalk board) and write a new one - that never happens at the Tap Houses or Bier Garden. And unlike those places that will serve wine or crap beer to cater to all comers (and the BG seems to get a lot of people who order generic German beer (at least what I've seen)), this was truly a beer community. Men, women, young, old - were all trying really good and diverse beers from approriate glassware (another +). Never seen that in other beer bars around here. In conclusion, check this place out (and next time I go I'll try a cheese board).
03-28-2011 17:13:16 | More by clayrock81
4.19/5 rDev -10.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | $$
Really great spot. They have some amazing exclusives on draft, and they obviously have ridiculous connections. The ambiance is great, and I wish I lived around here so I could hang out here more often.
The staff was a little awkward. When we asked why they served so much Belgian/German beer - which is fine!!!! We just wanted to know their inspiration - they said ’to be different’. Interesting, because we all know the first generation of US craft beer bars were heavily Belgian/German. Is this the first ’retro’ craft beer bar? (Or was I too dense/drunk to take a joke? Probably.) I also felt a familiar vibe from the management - a vibe I’ve experienced before - when someone has a bar they obviously know is good, but competition in the area is so limited they become a little ostentatious. Meh. They were so damn nice I honestly didn’t care.
Go here. It’s a special place.
11-24-2013 23:12:29 | More by Fluffheady
4.84/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.25 | $$
If you are not looking for this place, you're not going to find it. A friend of mine mentioned to me that this place sold growler, so I decided to make the trip and check them out. I believe I have found my new hang out on Saturdays.
It is located back off the road a little, tucked away in an industrial area that hardly has any traffic. The inside is dimly lit by low wattage lights and white strands of lights draped over a line of empty growlers at the top of their shelves. On the chalk board to the left, you will find their list of brews, most of which are amazing, giving you the country of origin and price per glass or growler. The bar is in an L-shape and behind it you will find a giant cellar with bottles that you can purchase or a line of taps for what is ready to be served.
I could go on and on about the service Ben and his wife provide, but I will leave it to you to experience it. They are always changing up the menu and the taps are never the same. Do yourself a favor and visit this place. The prices are amazing and if you see a bottle you would like, and you want to take it home to drink, you'll get 20% off. Enjoy your stay! I'll be there this Saturday for sure.
06-20-2013 01:37:22 | More by Cubatobaco
4.9/5 rDev +4.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4 | $$$
I've recently moved away from the Hampton Roads area and I would like to say that the Birch was somewhat of a light in the darkness for me.
Living in a predominantly military area it can be excruciatingly difficult to find a watering hole that's as comfortable and pleasant. The ambiance truly is one of a kind of the Norfolk area and the eclectic music selection is always interesting at the worst. It's always nice to get away from the Navy or ODU bars for a change.
Ben and Malia do a wonderful job of keeping their patrons satisfied with their wealth of knowledge of what they're selling. The rest of the staff is surprisingly knowledgeable about the selection and if they can't answer a question they tend to find the answer quickly.
The selection is impeccable. There isn't really anything else to be said.
As far as I know the food is very good. I've only ever had the grilled cheese sandwich, cheese boards and some mixed nuts. It's not often that you find such a small a place on the East Coast that serves sandwiches on sourdough, so that is a major plus in my book. They also serve soft pretzels and popcorn that always smell great.
All in all, at the Birch you get what you pay for. If I ever return to Norfolk I'll be sure to be a regular customer again. Especially if they keep that Faro.
09-30-2011 22:38:09 | More by Anyportinastorm
4.84/5 rDev +3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | $$$
Visited last night for a taste of Parabola. Atmosphere is excellent, very laid back, relaxed and welcoming vibe. Fantastic selection of beers in both bottle and on tap. Beers are served in proper glassware and the service is top notch with a polite check in every ten min or so as I sipped on my delicious beverage.
The prices were a tad high in my opinion but that will not stop me from coming back. I highly recommend this place if you happen to be in Norfolk and are looking for a fantastic beer bar.
My only suggestion is to expand the food section a bit, would have been nice to have something besides grilled cheese to appease the wife though she did love her "craft" ginger ale she had.
06-07-2012 17:40:54 | More by Hanzo
The Birch in Norfolk, VA
100 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.