Best Alternative to ChurchKey
The Black Squirrel
2427 18th St. NW; (202) 232-1011
Every soul who approaches ChurchKey does so with trepidation: Is there a line outside the front door? If you manage to get in, how long will it take to achieve bar visibility? What about bartender accessibility? Perhaps you might even hope for the impossible: that a table will open up. Sure, go ahead and believe. It’s a crazy world. But if you’d rather avoid the ChurchKey torture, Adams Morgan has a great alternative in the Black Squirrel. The bar’s six-page beer menu is chock full of diverse options, which seem to be ever-expanding with new seasonal brews and other fresh additions (like, recently, four new beers from Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Co.) The menu’s descriptions reach an almost poetic enthusiasm. Take, for example, the New Holland Dragon’s Milk Oak Barrel Ale—practically a haiku unto itself—which has a “rich caramel-malt character intermingled with deep vanilla tones; all dancing in an oak bath.” If only beers like this could be personified, the world would be a sexier place. Alas, you’ll have to settle for Black Squirrel, a pretty sexy place itself, even compared to ChurchKey.