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Bier Baron and Churchkey included in Top 100 Beer Bars in America by Draft Magazine

by Prince Of Petworth January 23, 2013 at 11:00 am 19 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Lauren PM

Draft Magazine published their list of top 100 beer bars in America:

As craft beer has exploded, so has the number of incredible places that serve it. This list celebrates those special haunts with less than three locations and one passionate focus: beer. There might be darts and a jukebox or candlelight and a turntable; there might be five beers or 500. But in every spot on our list, you’ll find an excellent brew in your glass and people—staff, owners, barflies—who care about that as much as you do.

DC represented by Bier Baron and Churchkey:


A Washington institution, this cavernous beer hall and inn (formerly The Brickskeller) in the capital’s Dupont Circle neighborhood is as essential to visit as the Smithsonian: Its exhaustive 550-plus beer list spans brewing history, from ancient gruits to black IPAs and everything in between. 1523 22nd St. NW


Everything beer guru Greg Engert touches turns to gold, but Churchkey remains his crowning achievement: A swanky bar with more beer than D.C. lobbyists, Churchkey’s the spark that started the capital’s craft beer revolution. 1337 14th St. NW

See the full list here.

  • Timmy

    Meridian Pint should be on this list, not the bar formerly know as the brickskeller.

  • Anonymous

    Churchkey? Absolutely. But I’d replace Bier Baron with Meridian Pint. The Bier Baron is essentially the old Brickskeller, which sucked for the last two decades of its existence.

  • anonny

    Churchkey and Quarry House are my two favorite bars in the DC region. Never been to either of those Baltimore bars that made the list.

  • Anonymous

    Agreee, Bier Baron should not be on the list.

  • Anonymous

    You can tell the author has never been to the Bierbaron.

  • Sarah

    The Bier Baron is great if you want to keep picking beers off their list that aren’t in stock. I think they really only ever carry about 100 beers. The list should be updated more often to reflect stock — it shouldn’t be a guessing game.

  • I think Bier Baron and Churchkey both belong on the list. Bier Baron has a great selection and unlike the Brickskeller, they have it in stock. Under the new management, I’ve never gotten the “We’re out if this and this and this” treatment. The prices are also much more reasonable than most newer DC establishments. But it is in Duoont, & that’s a strike against it in PoPville. As for Meridian Pint, it’s a really great bar, but not one of the best beer bars in the country.

    • Mary Kate

      Nice try, waiter at Bier Baron. I’ve been there a few times since the new management took over. Each time, I got the “we’re out of this and this and this” treatment. I gave them a shot, but my experience was identical to that provided by the former management.

      In DC, Churchkey is the only beer bar worth national recognition.

  • Anonymous

    Bier Baron??? Negative. I would add Meridian Pint, Smoke and Barrel, Black Squirrel, or Brasserie Beck any day over Bier Baron. At least it will keep the tourists out of our hair.

    • Is the Bier Baron a big tourist destination? I never noticed that.

      • Anonymous

        Absolutely. The Brickskeller was a tourist draw for decades, and the Bier Baron is riding on those laurels somewhat.

    • I would put Squirrel up there with Churchkey, particulary after they added the street level longbar. This is based on beer selection, beer presentation, and beer-themed events… I’m well aware of what this blog thinks of BS’s political leanings so save your breath.

      And while it is not in D.C. proper, Galaxy Hut is a painfully underrated beer joint that seemingly gets left out of the “best of” lists…perhaps thankfully so!

  • TG

    I would add Meridian Pint but I get keeping the Bier Barron (brickskellar) on the list. Keep in mind that this place was into beer years and years before the scene exploded. It deserves a spot in D.C.’s beer lore, at the least.

  • Anonymous

    At least they didn’t put RFD on the list. That place is where good beer goes to die.

  • dcRat

    I was just at Bier Baron last weekend and there is no way it should be on any list except for places you don’t want to be caught dead in.

  • heferyzan

    Draft Mag doesn’t mention how they determine the top 100 beer bars (at least, I couldn’t find it). I’d be interested to know if this is based on a regional survey or their own opinion.

  • I’ve never been to Bier Baron, but 550 beers sounds good to me. What is not good about it?

    • Out of a lot of beers and tourists? Any other negatives?

  • Rockcreek

    Churchkey is great and all, but it’s fancy and often hard to get a seat.

    Brickskeller deserved credit for being way ahead of the curve. But they often were out of beers and had an unnecessarily large and weak food menu.

    Bier Baron is under new management and in my opinion, is much improved. It’s a more low-key and funky beer place than the Churchkeys of the world and that’s probably why it’s on the list. I’m glad they kept the old beer hall character (including dusty can/glass collections) but simplified and improved the beer and food menu (and added interesting live music). And the best part? They’ve got a great happy hour. Any draft and burger is only $10…EVERY DAY. I had a nearly $10 beer with my burger.

    Try getting that at the fancier “gastropubs” in town.


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