Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beering in Dupont Circle: Churchkey

So we move along to see what other wonders are in the Northwestern DC area and stumble upon this Pizza joint. They've got 12 beers on tap, a great food selection, and over an hours wait. So let's keep it moving. We make our way to our next destination, Churchkey.

This spot only opened 9 months ago and is a bona fide gastropub. Great soft lighting atmosphere, real oil lamps along the wall, 50 beers on tap, another 555 bottled beers, and a killer menu. The menu was neck deep in fine dining world. The place was packed with a 45 minute wait but I grab some ginger ahi tuna and get's the beering:

District Chophouse Ellie's Ale
I know that I won't make it to the brewpubs in the area, but it doesn't hurt to see some DC stuff on tap at the gastropub. The beer has a candy apple scent and is just barely cloudy. Smooth mouthfeel with low carbonation, moderate to high sweet malt. Medium bodied. Just goes down very easy. Very little hops to speak of. 3 Stars.

Bell's Two-Hearted Double IPA
The wife ordered this one, I don't know why, she can't stand the IPAs. The nose has a great citrus and malt character. The taste is very high in hops yet balanced with the malt. I was a little winded and burning up at this point, so I didn't write down much more. 4 Stars.

After all this ass dragging around DC and my inability to work out for 5 weeks, I can't seem to get cooled down. And Churchkey publishes the serving temperature right there on the menu. Normally I would be tickled pink, but this is just about the time I need one of those ice houses that advertises "the coldest beer in town". I just can't get cooled down and these Dupont circle beer locales are so spot on with their serving temps that I'm switching to a Pilsner...

Tuppers Keller Pils
Light crisp hop and caramel nose. So damn refreshing. High carbonation, not too much on the hops, very balanced with a lightly bitter aftertaste. High 3 Stars.

All in all, this place ranks right up there with the beerbistro in Toronto for fine dining gastropubs. Just CRAZY. And even better, if you want more barfood, you just hoof it upstairs to Birch and Barley and you find yourself in beertopia with all kinds of pub-grub, hipsters, and congressional aides and pages. All the same beer they have downstairs. I know next time I go to DC, we're going to make it a point to go to Church.

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