Beer-Cation: ChurchKey, Washington DC
ChurchKey is the premiere destination for beer lovers in our nation’s capitol. With 50 taps, 5 casks and an enormous bottle list, I guarantee you’ll find something new and interesting in their constantly rotating selection.
When asking about local options for finding great beer in Washington, DC, my friend Marc Lancaster had the following to say about ChurchKey:
“The mecca of D.C. beer. Insane selection — not in volume, but uniqueness. The one absolute must-go.”
I’m in complete and total agreement.
ChurchKey is the bar above sister restaurant Birch and Barley. I visited at around 2 PM on a Saturday afternoon and grabbed a stool at one of their roughly hewn wood-capped center tables. The joint is well decorated and classy – but on the small side. If you plan to sit down, I definitely recommend going at an off-peak time. By the time we left at 5 PM, it was standing room only.
The beer menu can best be described as outrageous. It was presented as two full pages of beer in kegs and casks that I had never even heard of, much less seen on my local shelves or imbibed. The menu itemized hops, flavor profiles, style, ABV, brewery location and the type of serving glass – all very nice touches. The taps were available for 4 oz pours, perfect for tasting your way around the bar.
My trip coincided with the launch of DC’s 3 Stars Brewing Co. and the tap list had several of that local brewery’s selections available. Being a saison lover, I was happy to try their Urban Farmhouse ale. Three different types of peppercorns? Sign me up. I also had the chance to try Wicked Wheat (Beer Here), Saison de Pipaix (Brasserie à Vapeur) and Jan de Lichte (Kleinbrouwerij de Glazen Toren). We quickly inhaled the fried macaroni and cheese appetizer, featuring a crispy golden crust that encased a light but creamy shell pasta.
It goes without saying that this is a must-experience bar. The next time you’re anywhere near D.C., you have to drop in and see what all the fuss is about and discover your new favorite beer.