Birch & Barley / ChurchKey

Birch & Barley / ChurchKeyBirch & Barley / ChurchKey
Birch & Barley / ChurchKeyBirch & Barley / ChurchKey
Bar, Eatery

1337 14th St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20005-3610
United States

(202) 567-2576 | map
churchkeydc.com

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.5
Reviews:
136
Ratings:
174
pDev:
9.56%
View: Place Reviews
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by JackRWatkins:
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Rated by JackRWatkins from Georgia

4.6/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 3 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 3
exquisite selection knowledgable staff, great bar
Jan 01, 2015
More User Ratings:
 
Rated: 4.5 by paulish from New York

Yesterday at 02:17 AM
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Reviewed by arizcards from North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -18.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 1 | selection: 5 | food: 3.75
Visited here with Da Boss for an early dinner on 11-7-22 before leaving town.

Arrived shortly after opening at around 4:30 pm. Maybe 10 people in the bar when we got there and maybe 20 when we left. Capacity is maybe 125? Dark bar that runs the length of their space with booths lining the inner wall opposite the bar. Seems like a great place to hang out.

Quality of the beers we had were very good. Had a Veil NEIPA and a Weather Souls Imperial Coffee Stout.

Service was totally annoying. We were acknowledged and brought water pretty quickly. However, our server was training someone and was 100% focused on the trainee. It took 15-20 minutes to get our first beer order TAKEN. And it went from there with the dinner order and Round 2. I usually am very patient but the server was deliberately being a dick. Would recommend you sit at the bar for quicker service.

Selection of beers was world class. At least 50 draft and numerous rare bottles were available.

Food was petty good but nothing outstanding. Menu is very limited too. Had the pork sandwich and fries. Da Boss had a chicken thigh sandwich which were okay.

Overall, sit at the bar and enjoy the beer and maybe some food if you are not picky.
Nov 07, 2022
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Reviewed by jmdrpi from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev -0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25
ate dinner here on a Saturday night and stayed for rounds of drinks afterwards as well. you enter on the entrance and go up a flight of stairs to the space, it's on the 2nd floor. long bar along the one side, with booths lining the opposite wall. some tables in the front by the windows. a few TV's over the bar. About 50 beers on tap, good diversity of styles organized on the menu, and a serving temp listed for each beer. good mix of local and national craft beer and imports. food menu is "gastropub" type menu, and the food we ate was very good.
Oct 30, 2022
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Reviewed by BillRoth from Maryland

4.64/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
Very impressed. Great layout and vibe was good. Staff were friendly, and very knowledgeable. Beers were poured in proper glassware and at correct temperatures.
Found the beer list very broad/diverse and menus provided easy review with lots of info as well as pricing etc.
We went in at opening on a rainy Tuesday…which certainly made it comfortable/no crowds… if maybe a bit too quiet. And a bit dark.
We were there for a Fiden’s can release and happy to see that Fiden’s was on tap as well. Nicely done.
The bottle menu was very good though still a bit restricted to East coast. Decent European choices. Very good but no stunners.
Draft list was likewise very good. No real surprises.
My general take is that this is an excellent beer oasis for those who live in the D.C./VA/ MD area. It definitely draws some great beers that may/may not be readily available otherwise.
Our food was outstanding…ingredients; prep/cooking; presentation all top notch. Delicious.
Overall pricing for beers and food were consistent with typical “city” prices, but I was quite happy/felt they were very fair if not generous.
I really liked this place and would love to go back. Expect that on any day they will have something special. Today it was the unexpected availability of Fiden’s.
Very much recommend!
Oct 09, 2022
 
Rated: 4.5 by ejimhof from Pennsylvania

Jun 27, 2022
 
Rated: 4.13 by Jaasoares from Virginia

Jun 17, 2021
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Reviewed by Tacoma_Dan from Washington

4.55/5  rDev +1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4
Visited Churchkey while in DC for a wedding as I had heard that this was one of the better beer pub/taprooms in the US. This is a must visit if you enjoy craft beer, as their tap list, and can/bottle list is quite extensive and full of nice vintages. Variety of beer from all over the US, and international selection with some great bottles from Belgium and Europe. Food was just alright, and it is a very dark and dimly lit seating and bar area. I recommend sitting at the bar, as the bar staff service was great and they are super knowledgeable, offering suggestions and chatted about beer and trips with one gentleman. Did have to wait quite a while to find a seat, as it is seat yourself, which can be a challenge. Would visit again, but earlier in the afternoon before the dinner rush.
Jun 16, 2020
 
Rated: 4.31 by slasich from Pennsylvania

May 17, 2020
Photo of cratez
Reviewed by cratez from Canada (ON)

4.9/5  rDev +8.9%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75
What I had: Draft samples of Hill Farmstead & Blaugies La Vermontoise, Perennial Peach Berliner Weisse, and Dominion Hop Mountain Pale Ale, pint of Mad Fox Defender American Pale Ale and Prairie Artisan Ales Birra, seared bluefish for me, appetizer bread plate, tomato cucumber salad, hand-cut pappardelle, and several sauvignon blancs for my fiancé, caramel icebox cake to split.

What I liked: Upscale, cosmopolitan atmosphere, plenty of seating available at the dinner bar, well laid out beer and food menus, ridiculously knowledgeable and inviting service from the bartender, impressive and carefully selected draft list, love that they offer flights, truly exceptional food, my partner really enjoyed her wine.

What I disliked: Our server, while stellar, was a little one-dimensional to the extent that he only discussed the beer and food and didn’t talk about the wine . Prices are high but that’s not surprising for a place of this calibre.

Would I go back? Yes. Birch & Barley easily ranks as one of the best restaurants we’ve ever been to. This is a must-visit destination when in D.C.

Overall Rating: 98
Jan 30, 2020
 
Rated: 4.48 by Taybeh from Minnesota

Jan 12, 2020
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Reviewed by RMW66 from Australia

4.73/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75
A great find on a recent trip. Great selection of beers on tap and an amazing selection of great beers by the bottle. Food was terrific and staff were helpful and knowledgeable. One of the very best IMO.
Dec 21, 2019
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Reviewed by chrisjws from California

4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25
Vibe is divey, they got TVs and it's dimly lit aside from the area by the window. Doesn't look like much, until you see the beer list.

Taplist is excellent, as good as can be expected for any bar with 30ish taps. All styles, served in proper glassware. You can get small pours or full pours. Lots of great local beer, also a lot of rare beer from all over the States. The bottle list is incredible, period. Take a look and I dare you to call me a liar.

Food is very ok, the poutine was not that good but it was tasty, just not poutine.

100% a must visit in DC
Oct 27, 2019
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Reviewed by AmeriCanadian from Tennessee

4.79/5  rDev +6.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75
Absolutely exceptional spot. Except for the lack of lighting in the upstairs bar area and inexplicable painted, poured concrete bar top (??), ChurchKey has a near-perfect lunch and (many) beers experience. Incredible tap list, endless bottle options, excellent food, and outstanding, knowledgeable service. Best all-around beer bar I've encountered to date.
Oct 05, 2019
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Reviewed by andypeters1971 from Georgia

4.75/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.75
everything you want in a beer bar and then some. Great location near Logan Circle, great space in the second floor overlooking the street, plenty of most styles of beer, fantastic food and knowledgable servers.
Sep 08, 2019
 
Rated: 4.89 by ScottP from New Hampshire

Jun 29, 2019
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Reviewed by ChicagoJ from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3
1/28/19 (Washington D.C). In town for work, and glad I stopped in to this haven of craft draft and cask pours. Typical modern bar, service at the bar was great, standard sports on the TV blended with movies or comedy. Food was pricey, wings were not good but burger very good. Many great varieties of beers available including 4-6 cask pours, hard to find in most places. This bar does a great job stocking a variety of brewers and styles, and has dozens of bottles in addition to their extensive draft list. No happy hour specials, most D.C. bars have them, and a bit pricey, but worth it if you are searching unique styles or brewers. Have been back a few times since, everything consistent.
May 06, 2019
 
Rated: 4.63 by Tsar_Riga from Indiana

May 02, 2019
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Reviewed by TheGent from New Jersey

4.88/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
The vibe in this place is pretty basic. Just feels like a typical bar. And it’s rather dark inside. Sometimes too much. But it does feel and look like a beer bar, with the many taps, kegs sitting out on the balcony, visible bottles adorning the wall, and all of the bottles available for purchase in the fridges behind the bar visible to all.

Ok, moving on from the dark interior, which is the only thing I could get myself to complain or nitpick about, this is one of the best beer bars I have ever been to.

There are several reasons for this:

1. First, and foremost, the servers are extremely knowledgeable of beer and the extensive menu. As someone who often knows exactly what I want, I find myself often asking the servers for their opinions. Especially when it comes to the bottle list. “Here’s what I’m in the mood for, what do you recommend?”

2. The selection is world class. All styles and categories: hoppy, sour, funky, malty, etc. and they have multiples of each on the menu and categorize them by style / characteristic. There is literally something for everyone on this menu. They have 4-5 cask hand pumps. Their bottle list is infinite and overwhelming.

3. They serve full and half pours.

4. The servers are extremely knowledgeable (did I mention that already?), service oriented and just genuinely nice people.

I go every time I am in DC, and I feel like a “regular” every time who gets that special treatment, but here is just the way they trat every customer. Respect.
Apr 20, 2019
 
Rated: 3.5 by Matt23 from Virginia

Feb 21, 2019
 
Rated: 4.5 by eawolff99 from Minnesota

Feb 12, 2019
 
Rated: 4.66 by GregSemenza from Connecticut

Jan 23, 2019
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Reviewed by JamFuel from Sweden

4.84/5  rDev +7.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5
Churchkey is probably one of the most renowned beer bars in America, if not the world, and for good reason.

Located up a staircase, the large room is plush and dimly lit. Long bar, basically the length of the room, with the most comfortable bar seats I've ever sat in. Plenty of tables and booths as well.

The beer selection is staggering. The tap list runs about 50 beers, of all conceivable styles, from light and refreshing to huge and decadent. Choosing what to get is a real challenge here. And that's not even touching the bottle list which is one of the longest and most comprehensive I've seen. Every style is represented, and from most world class breweries you can think of. This list can make you very poor, very quickly.

All this beer of course needs curating and explaining and the bar staff here is up to the challenge. Great knowledge and understanding and it seems like they all really like beer. Just the fact that I ordered a blonde ale from Bluejacket that came out looking, smelling and tasting more like a NE pale ale that was served in a stange. The bartender looked at it and right away checked that it was the correct beer (it was) and if I wanted a more suitable glass. THAT is service of the highest level.

Food was really nice, I had a burger on the first night, my friend had poutine fries, both were delicious. On the second night I had the flatbread, which was amazing.

Overall, world class in every department. The fact that I came here both nights I was in town says a lot for me.
Dec 31, 2018
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Reviewed by darktronica from Indiana

4.65/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5
My new go-to place for beer in Washington, DC--I'll be back whenever I'm back, so to speak. Great draft selection of mostly regional winners across a range of styles, but with some outstanding rarities thrown in unexpectedly. Multiple cask offerings. After getting a few of their more high-end draft offerings, my server also brought two four-ounce pours of their own beers, on the house. The bottle list is also exceptional, with fairly reasonable prices on a lot of stunners and aged beers that I have not seen elsewhere.
Aug 07, 2018
 
Rated: 4.63 by ElGallo from New Hampshire

Aug 01, 2018
 
Rated: 4.58 by SDRedDevil from California

Jun 04, 2018
 
Rated: 4.36 by vfgccp from New York

Apr 04, 2018
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Reviewed by Stevedore from Oregon

4.45/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25
For Churchkey, I had high expectations coming here because of the reputation that preceded this bar, and this place met them all. Located on the second floor of the building it shares with Birch & Barley, long beautiful bar that accommodates quite a few people. Lots of fantastic drafts, lots of local MD/DC/NoVA beers on draft. The bottle list is also phenomenal, and there is a ton to choose from. If you want to drop serious coin, they have lambics such as Drie Fonteinen available in bottles. Food is solid, fairly standard DC pub fare that will fill you up nicely. But for my dollar, I would go to Shake Shack that's across the corner beforehand, but that is not to say that the food isn't excellent. Service was good and I really enjoyed my time here. If you are wanting to try all these Aslin/Veil/et al beers and can only come to one bar in DC, this is it. If you only want Belgian ales and lambic, I would head over to Sovereign- but if that is not an option, there's plenty of that here as well.
Mar 22, 2018
 
Rated: 4.48 by MICAMD from Maryland

Jan 29, 2018
 
Rated: 4.05 by DoubleDaisyCutter from District of Columbia

Dec 19, 2017
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Reviewed by bl00 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25
Visited the upstairs bar Churchkey during late afternoon on a weekend. Lighting in the stair well entrance and some parts of the bar was too dim coming from a late November afternoon outside. We were able to sit by the window though. Service was slow. We ordered an appetizer which the first server forgot, though the second server was kind enough to remove from the bill. Selection of beers is excellent, including a large bottle list. Half pours are offered, got to sample many excellent IPAs from VA.
Nov 27, 2017
 
Rated: 4.51 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts

Nov 13, 2017
 
Rated: 4.56 by srw from Virginia

Nov 03, 2017
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Reviewed by VABA from Virginia

4.5/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5
What is there to say about one of DC's best bars! They have a very good selection of tap beers including some of the rare local ones such as Aslin & Ocelot.
Oct 29, 2017
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Reviewed by socon67 from New York

4.56/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4
Great spot where craft beer is represented. About 30 taps and some casks plus an incredible bottle selection. Service is solid even on a Saturday night when we arrived. Tons of rare offerings made the trips worth it. Absolutely a must visit if in the area.
Jul 31, 2017
 
Rated: 4.65 by edthehead from New York

Jun 21, 2017
 
Rated: 4.47 by blisscent from Rhode Island

Jun 18, 2017
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Reviewed by b-mc-g from Maryland

3.68/5  rDev -18.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 1.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 3.75
ChurchKey undoubtedly takes the DC crown for both beer selection and handling. The number of drafts, breath of style, and handling of their beer products is unparalleled in this city. Despite their excellence in the beer department they're deficient in on glaring but simple area-service. Their servers, while generally knowledgeable about the product, are frequently curt, disinterested, condescending, and pretentious towards their patrons. I have experienced this on multiple occasions across varying levels of them being busy. If you're looking for great beer but are not concerned with the service aspect of the industry then you'll be just fine.
Jun 07, 2017
 
Rated: 4.51 by jak from North Carolina

Apr 25, 2017
 
Rated: 4.95 by Zonian1 from Ohio

Apr 15, 2017
Birch & Barley / ChurchKey in Washington, DC
Place rating: 4.5 out of 5 with 310 ratings