Young and Hungry

Birch & Barley Opens Today. What’s Inside?

Birch & Barley

Birch & Barley, the oft-promised beer bar and restaurant, will open tonight at 5 p.m. And while we've drooled over it for months, we've heard little about it other than the numbers they promised: 555 bottles, 50 taps, and 5 casks. I admit I was skeptical, worried that the list would be vaporware like the 1,000+ beer menu at The Brickskeller — but a swing by the bar yesterday put me at ease.

Beer director Greg Engert assured me that come tonight there will indeed be beer flowing from all 50 taps and all 5 casks, and from the looks of it, a bottle menu that will have the nerdiest beer nerds returning for "special occasion" beers. But for me, the casks were the real question mark. Cask beer is fresh, unpasteurized beer hand-pumped from the barrel rather than pulled out by carbon dioxide like regular keg beer, giving it a velvety feel. But it's also more perishable, which is why nowhere in D.C. keeps more than one or two on tap. They're hard to track down, and hard to sell.

Engert showed me a dozen casks in storage, ranging from regional session beers like Troegs Hopback Amber to rarer breeds like Allagash Hugh Malone and Harviestoun Ola Dubh 40, an English old ale aged in 40-year whisky casks. Tonight, taste the Ola Dubh side-by-side with BrewDog Paradox Isle of Arran, a whisky-barrel-aged Scottish imperial stout. Also on cask will be Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale and two others TBD.

Of the 50 taps, about half will rotate every week or so, while the other half will be good standbys. The dependable session beers include: Victory Prima Pils, Allagash White, Brooklyn Lager, Stone Pale Ale, Smuttynose IPA, Green Flash Hop Head Red, and Climax Nut Brown Ale. $5 for about a 12 oz. glass.

But tonight, I'll be there for the cask ale, the spectacle, and hopefully some surprises on tap. For pictures, check out ReadysetDC, whose photography is much better than my own.

(Bonus question: Anyone notice that Birch & Barley's address is 1337 14th St. NW? The number 1337 holds a special place in the heart of many a computer geek.)

Comments

  1. #1

    hackerrrr

  2. #2

    Quite possibly the worst experience I have ever had at a rest in any city. It took the wait staff 30 minutes to figure out we were there and another 30 to get my drinks. Full dining experience= 3 hours. The hamburger was actually a tare tare on bread....nasty at best.

  3. #3

    @R - That's what you get when you bum rush a brand new restuarant. They'll get it together soon - they are seasoned vets of the business. The fact that you posted on your experience so soon after opening shows what kind of patron you are. Good luck.

  4. #4

    I was at ChurchKey tonight (first night of the second week). The beer was great (especially the Ola Dubh 40), the food was great (fig and prosciutto flatbread, charcuterie plate, and burger). The burger was a little rare, but that's the way I wanted it. I think they've worked out some of the kinks from opening night. It was slammed at 6:30.

  5. #5

    Okay you are right, in fact PHP is a open source and its help we can take free from any discussion board or web page since it takes place at this place at this site.

  6. #6

    Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I'm still new to the whole thing. Do you have any tips and hints for first-time blog writers? I'd definitely appreciate it.

  7. #7

    I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you post…

  8. #8

    Sweet website , super design and style, rattling clean and utilise friendly.

  9. #9

    I conceive other website owners should take this site as an model, very clean and excellent user genial layout.

  10. #10

    Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I had written and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying
    your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but
    I'm still new to everything. Do you have any helpful hints for first-time blog writers? I'd definitely appreciate it.

Leave a Comment

Blogs Linking to this Article

  1. OMFG « A Jigger of Blog

    [...] construction space about a month ago and did a double take on the size of the bar.  Orr Shtuhl of Young & Hungry has a post up on Birch & Barley that makes me weak in the knees with excitement to try it [...]

  2. You D.C.-Area Drinkers Are Now Very Privileged « The Weekly Banjo

    [...] challenge to Brouwer’s Tap House in Seattle for Beer Heaven.  Birch & Barley, which is now open, looks like a very good idea, and with the MBC here in Billings, we may have a complete [...]

  3. Beltway Beer » Blog Archive » Churchkey update

    [...] to the CityPaper, all five casks will be tapped tonight, including Harviestoun Ola Dubh 40, an English ale aged in [...]

  4. Photos and first look- Birch and Barley + ChurchKey Opening Tonight | DC Beer - Washington DC, Beer, Bars, Craft beer, homebrewing, happy hours, beer tastings

    [...] 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 [...]

  5. Weekly Roundup: Beer Frenzy Edition « ModernDomestic

    [...] opening was the name of the game in the food blogosphere. Metrocurean, 14th and You, DC Beer, and Young and Hungry peek [...]

  6. Annoying Trick to Prove You’re the Strongest Dude at the Bar - Young & Hungry - Washington City Paper

    [...] Challenge – The Impossible Beer Lift – The funniest videos are a click away In honor of Birch & Barley/ChurchKey’s long-awaited opening, Y&H offers this nifty bar trick that will, no doubt, impress your friends — and annoy the [...]

  7. A Big Week for Beer in DC - Young & Hungry - Washington City Paper

    [...] was a big day, with a beer dinner at Belga Cafe, one at Rock Bottom Arlington, and the long-awaited opening of Birch & Barley/ChurchKey (whose taps start running at 4pm today), but there’s plenty more beer to drink and fun to be [...]

  8. We Are All Just Pawns in Birch & Barley’s World - Young & Hungry - Washington City Paper

    [...] it or not, there has been other news in the world this week, aside from the opening of Birch & Barley/ChurchKey, the long-awaited Neighborhood Restaurant Group project on 14th Street NW. You wouldn’t know [...]

  9. This Week’s Greatest Hits on Young & Hungry - Young & Hungry - Washington City Paper

    [...] Birch & Barley Opens Today. What’s Inside? [...]

  10. POV Lounge Is the Only D.C. Watering Hole Among the Finalists for the Nightclub & Bar Awards - Young & Hungry - Washington City Paper

    [...] the place is too young? Well, B&B/CK opened in October; POV opened in July. Is anyone going to argue that three months makes all the [...]

  11. Cabin Fever Setting In? Get to One of These Restaurants or Bars. - Young & Hungry - Washington City Paper

    [...] Birch & Barley/ChurchKey [...]

Comments Shown. Turn Comments Off.
...