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:
4.51
Reviews:
133
Ratings:
304
pDev:
9.53%
View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 304 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by dtivp:
Photo of dtivp
dtivp from Pennsylvania

4.95/5  rDev +9.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

I had the opportunity to visit the Churchkey during a business trip a little over a week ago. Located in a nice section of town upstairs above the Birch & Barley which looked like a nice restaurant which I hope to visit on the next trip.

The style was very modern, however, you had a very nice warm atmosphere. The bar was very long and roomy, there were numerous tables, a few booths and a few lounge couch areas.

The beer selection was excellent, 55 on tap including 5 on cask. If that didn't satisfy you there was a 500 bottle menu to select from. It was nice to be able to buy 4oz glasses of beer, allowing you to sample a greater variety.

The food was very good, a nice selection of sandwiches, salads and appetizers. The muffaletta and brat burger were good, however the prosciutto and fig flat bread was excellent. The arrancini & baked potato croquettes are worth trying too.

The service was excellent, friendly always there to assist with your next beer selection. All of the wait staff was very knowledgeable of the beer available and offered very good advice.

Prices were a little high, however, you expect that for the area. IF your in the DC area this is a definite must stop, it would be difficult to find a better beer bar in the area.

Jan 23, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of Tacoma_Dan
Tacoma_Dan from Washington

4.55/5  rDev +0.9%
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
Photo of slasich
slasich from Pennsylvania

4.31/5  rDev -4.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

May 17, 2020
Photo of cratez
cratez from Canada

4.9/5  rDev +8.6%
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
Photo of Taybeh
Taybeh from Minnesota

4.48/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.25

Jan 12, 2020
Photo of RMW66
RMW66 from Australia

4.73/5  rDev +4.9%
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
Photo of chrisjws
chrisjws from California

4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
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
Photo of AmeriCanadian
AmeriCanadian from Tennessee

4.79/5  rDev +6.2%
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
Photo of andypeters1971
andypeters1971 from Georgia

4.75/5  rDev +5.3%
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
Photo of ScottP
ScottP from New Hampshire

4.89/5  rDev +8.4%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 5 | food: 4.75

Jun 29, 2019
Photo of ChicagoJ
ChicagoJ from Illinois

4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
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
Photo of Tsar_Riga
Tsar_Riga from Indiana

4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

May 02, 2019
Photo of TheGent
TheGent from New Jersey

4.88/5  rDev +8.2%
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
Photo of Matt23
Matt23 from Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -22.4%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 1 | selection: 5 | food: 3.5

Feb 21, 2019
Photo of eawolff99
eawolff99 from Minnesota

4.5/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Feb 12, 2019
Photo of GregSemenza
GregSemenza from Connecticut

4.66/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Jan 23, 2019
Photo of JamFuel
JamFuel from Sweden

4.84/5  rDev +7.3%
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
Photo of darktronica
darktronica from Indiana

4.65/5  rDev +3.1%
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
Photo of ElGallo
ElGallo from New Hampshire

4.63/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Aug 01, 2018
Photo of SDRedDevil
SDRedDevil from California

4.58/5  rDev +1.6%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.75

Jun 04, 2018
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp from New York

4.36/5  rDev -3.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

Apr 04, 2018
Photo of Stevedore
Stevedore from Oregon

4.45/5  rDev -1.3%
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
Photo of gordavidson
gordavidson from Maryland

4.48/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.75

Jan 29, 2018
Photo of DoubleDaisyCutter
DoubleDaisyCutter from District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev -10.2%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Dec 19, 2017
Photo of bl00
bl00 from Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev -4.7%
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
Birch & Barley / ChurchKey in Washington, DC
Place rating: 4.51 out of 5 with 304 ratings