DC Beer
bar.jpg
Uncategorized

Photos and first look- Birch and Barley + ChurchKey Opening Tonight

the long bar

Last night a bunch of area bloggers got a chance to check out what by tonight will probably be 14th Street’s hottest new bar. Luckily, that bar happens to be 55 feet long and will host up to 33 seats for patrons. You might not be able to grasp that it is a really long bar, but when you go visit tonight you will understand what I mean. The bar is huge!

Happily, the length of the bar is matched by the quantity of beer that will inevitably pass over it. While last night only a few core brews (beers Greg Engert hopes to always have in stock) like Smuttynose IPA and Aventinus were on draft, tonight all 50 taps will be live and flowing through the giant glycol-cooled pipes from the beer fridge ‘loft’ that looks like a bridge above the separation between the beer lounge area and the bar and booth area.

Note: See Tap list here

Why am I geeking out about glycol cooled pipes? Well beer is forced through those pipes across the ceiling and to the bar (and sometime downstairs to the wall taps in the restaurant) and in other bars some of that beer would sit overnight in just regular old tubing getting warm and sticky and skunky and well gross–but not at ChurchKey thanks to the refrigerated lines. Beer stays cold like it has never left the fridge and thus it will stay fresh all the way to your glass.

As already explained in many places both here and across the net, the loft fridges contain kegs and are cooled to 3 different temperature standards to make sure the discerning beer drinker is getting beer at just the right coolness with regard to style. Lighter beers will come at you at around 42 degrees while the darkest will arrive somewhere around 54 degrees.

church keys embedded in the bar

Vintage reserve: Some cool things Greg showed us were his room full of casks and his vintage beer stores. He had some potentially delicious Goudenband from 2005–a beer that hasn’t been made in a few years and thus is a bit rare for the foreseeable future. I would like to drink this one, so if you could hold off on buying it, or perhaps we could split it?

keg fridges

Cask spotting: As for casks I saw both Bells Two Hearted as well as Bells Porter. He had Allagash Curiex and Hugh Malone Belgian-style IPA. As per the season one of the five casks tonight will definitely be Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin–a beer that was delicious before it was being put on cask…

casks!

I also saw casks of Stone Double Bastard and various vintages of Troeg’s Hopback (each hopped with palisades, amarillo or one other hop I can’t remember) which I look forward too. He also had Harviestoun Ola Dubh 40 which is aged in 40-year whiskey casks–a beer that Orr, the Beerspotter, was drooling over I might add.

Bottled beer and cider by the Glass! Now we are elevating beer to the level of wine… Another interesting area that Greg discussed was his idea of ordering certain ciders and beers by the glass. Although it wont happen right away, Engert hopes to offer specials on certain bottles that a usually out of reach for regular folk and let us buy tastes on given nights. He will most likely be doing this with flatter ciders and beers like Baladin’s XYAUYU barley wine.

tables in the lounge

Beer Events: Luckily for DC Beer, I’ve heard they have plans for monthly beer dinners and even  cooking classes (beer related?)

cool keyhole light

Stop by at 5PM tonight to join in on the night and drink one of those Canadian Breakfast Stouts! Address: 1337 14th St NW, Washington, DC‎

Related posts

SAVOR Brewery Profile: Denver Beer Co. (@DenverBeerCo)

Bill DeBaun

It’s Alive! Dr. Dremo’s to return in 2010

Mike

DC’s Own Home Brewers

DCBeer

Leave a Comment

Sign up now for the Weekly Pour!

Get the latest news, events, and info about what's happening in craft beer in the DMV delivered directly to you every week!