If Churchkey were a human celebrating its first birthday, we’d all get suckered into going to the party expecting it to be fun, but in actuality we would be being lured into a snorefest with pin the tail on the donkey, dry cake, and Hi-C fruit punch. Luckily, Churchkey is not a human, but it did recently celebrate its first birthday. This means that instead of the aforementioned banalities, Churchkey can celebrate with what it has come to be known for in just one year: a world-class (and recently recognized as the best in DC) beer list and a reputation for putting on some amazing events and hosting some of the world’s best brewers.

There have been innumerable great events at Churchkey in the past year, and we’ve taken the time to come up with five of the most memorable. We’re sure there are more great things to come from beer director Greg Engert and what has become, very quickly, DC’s temple to beer!

Sam Calagione Taps the Only Cask of Black Thai – Craft beer celebrity and founder of Dogfish Head Ales Sam Calagione was on-hand to tap this truly odd brew. Craft fans were lined up at the chance to meet Calagione and sip on this concoction. The fact that there was only one cask of this and it went to Churchkey speaks volumes about the reputation it has for slinging both the obscure and delicious.

#DCBrews Holds Its First Tweet-Up – The #DCBrews Twitter hash tag has brought a lot of craft beer fans, homebrewers, commercial brewers and their representatives, and bars together in the DC area. This event brought a bunch of people together over tasty craft offerings.

SAVOR Week Brings a Slough of Great Events – SAVOR Week inspired a number of great events all across the city. Churchkey was no exception. The week started off with an east coast cask night and then went on to include the release of Anchor’s Humming Ale and an evening with Sierra Nevada’s Ken Grossman.


Stone’s Total Tap Tower Takeover 2010 Takes Churchkey by Force – 40 Stone beers on tap. Unbelievable verticals and rare offerings. Need we say more? We don’t need to, but it doesn’t hurt to remind you that Stone CEO Greg Koch was also on-hand. An amazing evening.

Churchkey Opens Its Doors for the First Time – After much speculation, Birch and Barley and Churchkey finally opened up to a horde of thirsty Washingtonians. Here’s the tap list from opening night, in case you want to relive your nostalgia or (like me) can’t remember it. This was the first night of many more to come, and you can see from the tap list that director Greg Engert was trying to make an impact with his bar’s first impression.

Other quick hits that were great:
– Having all of the Mikkeller Single Hop IPAs and, later, all of the Mikkeller Yeast Series beers on draft at one time
– Hosting the Naked Pint Writers
– The February Keg of Hopslam (which was one of the quickest kegs ever to kick at Churchkey)

It’s been a hell of a year, and we’re certain the future will be even beerier! Cheers to Churchkey and Happy Birthday!

What have your favorite Churchkey events been? Anything egregious we missed? Let us know in the comments!