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ChurchKey - DC's Hottest Craft Beer Scene |

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ChurchKey - DC's Hottest Craft Beer Scene

It was a Thursday evening and not a particularly nice night as cold rain and cold winds made venturing out on the town less appealing than usual. I was meeting a basketball buddy of mine, Dan Weber, who works on the Hill and in order to encourage Dan and myself to go out that night, I had to think of the crème de la crème of craft beer hangouts in Washington DC. Now, some would say Brickskeller, RFD, or even the Big Hunt, but to me, the hot spot for DC craft beer these days can be only place…..ChurchKey.

Now, if you have never been to ChurchKey, you should know that it is a fairly new bar and restaurant and is designed to be a swanky paradise of good food and good craft beer you can’t find anywhere else in town. ChurchKey is located on the eastern side of the Dupont area on 14th street, near Thomas circle. When you first enter ChurchKey you are presented with two options: Option A is stay on the first floor and enjoy a fine dining experience or Option B is to head up the long metal stairs to the beer mecca where 60 taps greet you from around the world. Of course, I started my beer adventure by heading up the stairs and finding two seats at the long bar, which probably seats 20 or more people. It gets crowded after 7pm, but if you get there before 6:30 then you are sure to find a seat on the week days.

Immediately when you sit down you are greeted by a knowledgeable bartender that obviously has a passion for craft beer. In our case, our bartender was a 23 year old California replacement named Paul. Paul grew up only four miles from Russian River Brewing and he knew his beer, oh yes he did. Paul was friendly, gave great recommendations, and took care of me and Dan like a seasoned professional. To start off, Paul served us his favorite beer, the Collaboration not Litigation Ale by Avery and Russian River Brewing. This was a strong, dark ale and was a perfect way to warm us up after coming in from a cold evening. Good pick Paul!

The most innovative, and to me as an average drinker, exciting concept ChurchKey has over other craft beer bars is their two different sizes of glasses you can order. You can order a taster, which is only $2 to $3, or you can order a full pint at regular pint prices. We started with a full pint of the Collaboration Ale, but then quickly moved to the tasters. We had tasters of the Winter Storm Cask Ale by Heavy Seas brewing (I know Hugh Sisson well, what a great brewery he has created!) and about six other beers of all various styles from an IPA to a Kolsch to even a fruit beer, courtesy of Paul’s recommendation. We ordered some food to sustain our drinking, and hats off to the chef, the food was delicious. The food can be described as Gastropub fare with a twist of DC sophistication.

ChurchKey is a beer experience that also has great food. It is a new adventure each day as the owner changes out the kegs and what beers they offer on a daily basis. It is a great place to bring people from out of town or if you just want to have some fun trying new beers and new beer styles. We are going to work with ChurchKey on updating their beer lists on BreweryFans.com at some point, but it is a hard cookie to crack since they change their beers so often.

Enjoy the short video and you can watch our bartender Paul explaining why ChurchKey is the hottest beer scene in DC….

Here is there website - http://www.churchkeydc.com/

If you would like to watch the video go here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHtk8EKTH2U

Your Beer Guru in DC and Owner of BreweryFans.com Jonathon Lunardi http://www.breweryfans.com  and WUSA9 Beer Blogging