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#50 ChurchKey (Washington, D.C.)

ChurchKey is known for its impressive, ever-changing selection of 555 imported and domestic beers. The breakdown: 500 bottles, 50 drafts, and five casks. ChurchKey is the upstairs bar to sister Washington, D.C., restaurant Birch & Barley. The space blends Victorian and industrial touches, juxtaposing lush curtains, plush banquettes, and reclaimed chandeliers with metal beams. Copper pipes deliver the suds to the 50 taps behind the 55-foot-long bar. Beer director Greg Engert puts together an expansive list of beers on a nightly basis, and his highly trained staff members guide guests through the list using seven flavor categories created by Engert (crisp, hop, malt, roast, smoke, fruit, and spice). Since its opening in 2009, ChurchKey has been the first beer bar to use temperature-controlled taps (serving its beers at 42, 48, 50 to 52, and 54 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the style) and serves all its beers in the appropriate glassware. ChurchKey regularly hosts a range of events, from tap takeovers to draft debuts to beer dinners. There’s also a food menu that includes fresh pastas, house-made charcuterie and handmade “tater tots.” (Justin C./Yelp)

 

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