Birch & Barley / ChurchKey

BA SCORE
98
world-class

118 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
churchkeydc.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by drabmuh on 10-27-2009

PLACE STATS
Score:
98
Reviews:
118
Ratings:
269
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: 118 | Ratings: 269
Reviews by nickd717:
Photo of nickd717
4.72/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

Went here with my family, and all I can say is that it's one of the absolute best beer venues I've been to in my life. Up there with Kulminator, Ebenezer's, and whatnot, easily.

The ambiance is nice, elegant, warm and comforting. Not too crowded or frou-frou. The service is friendly and attentive.

The tap list is phenomenal. Highlights included Bells Batch 10000, Williamsburg Grand Illumination, Founders Breakfast Stout, and some random Belgian and American beers I hadn't yet ticked that ended up being amazing. The reserve bottle list is also excellent, with rare stuff like Barrel Aged Old Ruffian and great vintage stuff like several years of Thomas Hardy's.

The food is insanely good. I've been to two Michelin star restaurants that aren't as good as this. From the breads you get at the start to the salads to the pork belly appetizer to the mac and cheese side to the lamb entree, hot damn, it's all really, really awesome. Prices are a little on the high side (most entrees in the $20s and tasting menu $55 without beer pairings I think), but not at all unreasonable for what you get.

I love this place and will be back. Highest recommendation from the ticking champ.

 1,183 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of deakin
4.74/5  rDev +6.8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.25 | selection: 5 | food: 4.25

Photo of Jay_P22
4.56/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4.5

Visited ChurchKey on Tuesday, January 24th, 2017.

Vibe is really nice. Perfect size crowd, every table and spot was pretty much filled.

Quality is almost as good as it gets...from the beer to the food. Draft list was amazing, food is solid. The place looks nice, hip and modern. Really up to date.

Service was good. Server was knowledgeable about the beers which was good to see.

Beer selection there makes this place a must. Started with fresh Hopslam on draft, had Hardywood Christmas Morning, Dino Smores, Mexican Cake collab with Evil Twin, and a RAR juicy IPA. I took a friend there who was visiting from LA and he was impressed. The bottle list is even better.

Food is nice. Ordered wings (solid) and tots (really good version). We only really came for drinks, but the menu made me want to come back.

Overall, you must go if in DC. I have been to most of the places, and this is near the top. Parking is tough, but a parking garage is walking distance if you can't score street parking.

 1,019 characters

Photo of d_stack
4.55/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Photo of HipCzech
4.69/5  rDev +5.6%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

From notes: visited Birch & Barely on 30-May-2013 for dinner. Enjoyed the tasting menu while visiting D.C. Outstanding mix of stylish dining room, friendly and knowledgeable staff, delicious modern plates, and terrific beer list to match - a winner on all levels.

Crudo of Spanish Mackerel - Gin Yogurt, Celery, Dill, Pickled Mustard Seed
Marsilia / Birra Amiata / Italy

Seared Striped Bass - English Peas, Sunchoke Purée, Watercress
Perle ai Porci / Birra Del Borgo / Italy

Handmade Potato Gnocchi - Rabbit Sausage, Fennel Pollen, Ramps, Ricotta Salata
Instigator / Bluejacket & Mad Fox Brewing Company / DC & Virginia

Spring House Farm Goat Loin - Toasted Bulgur, Savoy Spinach, Pine Nuts, Cherry Belle Radishes
Rippa / Green Jack Brewing Company / England

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake - Citrus Segments, Blood Orange Sorbet, Pound Cake, Basil
Aphrodite / Brasserie Dieu du Ciel / Quebec

 892 characters

Photo of StoutLover14
4/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 4.75

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

Photo of RutgersBeerGuy
4.21/5  rDev -5.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

We were in DC back in March and went to Churchkey mid-afternoon on a Saturday. The place was very crowded, but with a very positive buzz. We grabbed beers at the bar and waited for seating to open up. The seating situation is kind of sit-where-you-want and first-come-first-serve, so vigilance is the key if you're waiting around.

A few days before our visit, they had hosted Victory's 20th anniversary celebration and the taplist still showed the residual effect of it. As a person who'd call Victory his favorite brewery, I was fine with this, however is probably isn't a great indicator of the everyday offerings. Everything was in good shape and served in appropriate glassware. I also appreciate that they appear to always have a handful of cask options.

Once we got a table, we ordered food. There's a lot of small plate and appetizer-type options, but the menu is on the short side, on the whole. The flatbreads were good and likely the standout.

Service was attentive, despite the large crowd. We never waited long for a round.

At the end of the day, ChurchKey was great. It might be a tad pricey, but it's DC.

 1,122 characters

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

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Birch & Barley / ChurchKey in Washington, DC
4.44 out of 5 based on 269 ratings.
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