Monday, October 22, 2012

Churchkey Beer Bar

I was in Washington DC last week for a conference and happened to have a night free.  I quick check of local beer locations showed me that Churchkey was a little over a mile's walk away.  I had previously heard about Churchkey, one of Washington's most famous beer bars, from a number of friends.  It was a nice night for a walk, so I headed over.

Churchkey is a two level establishment, with a restaurant on the ground floor and a large bar on the top floor.    The first thing I noticed, upon arrival, is that the place was packed.  For relatively early in the evening, the bar and booths were all full with a little standing room around the edges.  Churchkey's menu lays out their draft selection, which is very extensive, by grouping beers together in similar groups with simple labels, such as "Crisp", "Roast", and "Hops."  The menu provides basic information about each beer, such as the name of the beer, the brewery, alcohol content, and style.  It also provides information about the serving temperature and the glass it will be served in.  To see a current version of the menu, see the Beers menu item on their site.

Churchkey has a unique draft system.  The bar area is packed with booths and bar seats, so the owners elected to place a cat-walk perpendicular and above the bar.  A huge commercial walk in cooler sits atop the cat-walk, and three large metal refrigerated pipes come out of the cooler.  These pipes serve the three tap boxes at the bar and provide three different serving temperature zones (42 F, 48 F, and 50 F).  This allows the bar to serve different beer styles at temperatures ideal to their flavors, something I have yet to see done elsewhere.  It was very cool.

Churchkey provided a welcome change to the conference events I had been attending and allowed me to geek out on beer.  My only regret was that I was not traveling with anyone else to share the fun with, something I plan on remedying next time I visit.

I have included several pictures that I took while at Churchkey.  Please excuse the poor image quality, as my cell phone does not take decent pictures in low lighting.



 View down the Churchkey bar, note the three pipes that lead to the refrigeration unit behind the Bluejacket banner

 Churchkey bottle library

View of the Churchkey taps, which include five beer engines

Even the bathrooms have beer references, with old beer ads framed on the walls

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...