Birch & Barley / ChurchKey

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BA SCORE
98
world-class

115 Reviews
Birch & Barley / ChurchKeyBirch & Barley / ChurchKey
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(202) 567-2576 | map
www.churchkeydc.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by drabmuh on 10-27-2009

Grab a complimentary copy of BeerAdvocate magazine here while supplies last.
PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Reviews:
115
Ratings:
262
Avg:
4.44
pDev:
7.88%
 
 
Taps:
55
Bottles/Cans:
500
Cask:
Y
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 262
Reviews by Sludgeman:
Photo of Sludgeman
4.15/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

UPDATED

Visited Church Key multiple times - weekdays and weekends, early and late, during events and not.

Overall, this place is on my list when I need a special beer. Its a beer drinkers bar . . . the bar upstairs tends to be too crowded and service suffers. Sitting at the bar in the Birch & Barley is much prefered. Go early and leave early, the experience will be much better and you'll most likely get the beer you are looking for. Not kid friendly except early. Can be too dark for some of us whose eyes are little older. They REALLY need to resolve the dishwashing detergent odor issue noted below.

3/26/2013 - A Wednesday during the Craft Brewers Conference. Super crowded. A new line up of beers special for the night. Cool stuff.

A - The restaurant is less crowded and has a better atmosphere.

Q - I have to ding them this time. 3 of my 5 tastes had that dishwashing detergent odor. Could not taste, but the odor was clearly evident. Thought it was maybe the beer the first time. Sitting at the bar in the restaurant watching the bartender put glasses through the dishwasher. When she pulled the glasses out she would do a quick rinse on the glass washer before pouring a beer. I mentioned it to the bartender and she agreed. Without my asking she credited two of the beers. She was more attentive to rinsing the glasses before a pour.

S - Service in the restaurant is much better than in the upstairs bar.

S - Unbelieveable. Top notch.

F - Somewhat narrow menu but the food was good. I had the pieroges and the chicken rosemary flatbread. Both were yummy and arrive quickly.

2/2/2013 - Arrived about 6pm looking to have a few beers before we headed down the street for dinner. This was the first time I had visited. ChurchKey had been on my "to visit" list for quite some time and I finally made. Unfortunately I was underwhelmed.

A - When we walked in the first thing we noticed was the stale beer smell. Reminded me of my fraternity bar where I paid $0.25/beer. I can get over the smell, but for paying the prices the least they can do is keep it clean and somewhat fresh smelling. It was crowed (not complaining, popular places get crowded) with a good vibe. Seating is a challenge. And the lighting is quite low, making it difficult to read the beer menu.

Q - No complaints

S - Waiter was friendly and helpful, but the service was very slow. Busy and crowded means slow, but it was almost an hour between my first and second beers.

S - Beer selection is great, both on tap and by the bottle.

 2,521 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of redgorillabreath
3.76/5  rDev -15.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Visited solo as an out of towner. There's a restaurant downstairs, and a bar with many selections on tap and a hip menu food-wise. Prices reasonable for DC, grilled octopus with squid ink and couscous was outstanding, accompanied by a RIS on tap served in a snifter. I'll be going back.

 286 characters

Photo of SveNss0N
4.9/5  rDev +10.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of hockeypuck
4.66/5  rDev +5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 5

Photo of epyon396
4.5/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

Photo of oskinker
5/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 5

Photo of Emersonio
4.51/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Photo of dwagner003
4.25/5  rDev -4.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of Dmcdonald33013
4.33/5  rDev -2.5%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Great spot to add to your pub crawl wild in Georgetown.

55 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.59/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of TheBlueJerzzzz
4.41/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.75

Photo of cadaugherty
4.44/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of neil2me
4.83/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of spacebear09
4.29/5  rDev -3.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Photo of MNBeerGeek
4.36/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Photo of ZEB89
4.43/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Photo of jcoleMA66
4.78/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Photo of hollywoodbeergirl
3.78/5  rDev -14.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.25

Love the place but I think I would love it more if I were a local. I felt like an outsider. I am pretty mellow and patient and polite but I can imagine others getting frustrated with the service here. Great beer selection obviously and if I lived here I would probably give these guys a nice portion of my paycheck. Places like this make me miss my Vermont vacations where the beer is still world class yet the service a touch more friendly and personal. Still a great place.

 475 characters

Photo of GreatStoutman
4.28/5  rDev -3.6%
vibe: 1 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Photo of rjd722
4.76/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

What's not to love about this classic beer bar? Restaurant on the first floor and bar on the second; I always to go the bar upstairs because you can still get solid food. Awesome tap list with a variety of temperatures depending on the style. Many, many bottles...many.

I try to come here for as many of their special events as possible. The last time I was there we had great service and the waiter was very knowledgeable, happy to make recommendations. You won't find a better overall beer spot in the DC area.

 513 characters

Photo of Tomkob11
4.65/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of Mpontiakos
4.44/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Photo of brandoman63
4.32/5  rDev -2.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of Brian29
4.35/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.48/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

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Birch & Barley / ChurchKey in Washington, DC
4.44 out of 5 based on 262 ratings.
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