kindacold (17) Norfolk, Virginia | February 3, 2012| Updated June 26, 2012
This is by far the best beer bar I have ever been to. Most decent bars, at least in the Hampton Roads area, have a predictable selection that, while good, cannot compare to the rare and unusual selection of beers that can be found at this bar. If I can name more 10% of the beers on the draft menu at any time, it is only because Iíve been there too frequently.
Additionally, the ambiance is perfect. A good music selection played at a comfortable volume, no televisions, and the small space encourage conversation and tasting rather than staring at a sporting event.
Their specialty is not food. The food menu is limited, but what they do have is outstanding. I refuse to buy grilled cheese sandwiches at a restaurant, except here. Their cheese boards are also the greatest Iíve had in this area, comparable to some of the 5-Star B&Bs and Inns that I have worked for.
Come here, and drink up. If you are worried about your wallet, order half-pours.
Excellent selection of outstanding beers both on tap and in bottles and exactly the right glassware to go with each beer. We also love the cheese pairings, not your average cheddar and swiss. Thereís limited seating outside but on a pleasant evening they open the garage door. Fortunately we donít live anywhere near Norfolk or weíd be there every night!
Kicks many edgy brews on tap every day.Very enjoyable crowd. Bottled selection in great depth with large variety of unique hard to find beers from many many countries. Cheese pairings to compliment your beer choices. Off beaten path location with on and off beaten path beers !
Iíve been reading all about Belgian brews and wild beers and every single beer that was mentioned as "extremely rare" or "impossible to find outside of the village of origin," the Birch has it, regularly. Unexpectedly amazing place for such a humble location. Ben and Malia are awesome
Drake (720) Milwaukee, Wisconsin | July 15, 2011| Updated May 6, 2015
VERY glad I stopped here. Located in a hybrid industrial/residential, the building in which the Birch is located is an old garage. Dimly lit, with several tables and a very long bar. The tap and bottle lists are simply intimidating. Nothing of low quality here. Definite emphasis on European beers, but there are others also. The prices are a bit on the high side... a night of drinking here could hurt the wallet, but itís really not bad compared to the quality of beer. Some of the bottle prices are excellent for a beer bar. Simple and well priced food menu... my sourdough grilled cheese was tasty. The owner was working the bar, and he was very friendly. He will sell bottles to go, and they fill growlers of a few of their beers. This is a world class place, and its shocking theyíve only been open 6 months.
So I go back 16 months after my last visit and the owner remembers my name and where Iím from. Now thatís pretty amazing. Iíd raise the service score, but itís already a 10. so...
Amazing bar and a must stop in Norfolk. Finally got the chance to spend a night here and had an excellent time. The owner was very knowledgeable and paired me a few beers with my cheese plate. Atmosphere was dark and inviting with very few people (Tuesday night) and nice jazz playing at the appropriate level. Selection was unmatched by bars in the area and iím sure in the region. Great place for a date or some beers with friends but you will pay for what you get.
Itís really great to have a world class beer bar in the area. Itís something Hampton Roads has been missing.
Good Things - Great Selection of beer. New stuff is always going up on tap. Service has been great so far. Like the Atmosphere.
Some Bad - Would love to see more American Beers on tap once in a while. Pours can be a little to expensive when you arenít even getting a full 12 oz. Food is lacking but for what they have itís pretty tasty and simple. Bottled beers can be way overpriced.
Bottom line though, this is the best beer bar in the area. The positives far out way the negatives for me and love to go there.
Braudog (839) Yorktown, Virginia | May 21, 2011| Updated July 25, 2015
May 2011 - Finally got a chance to drop in on the Birch for the first time since returning to Hampton Roads. One word: WOW. The young owners here have managed to put together a cozy little place in a íseasonedí neighborhood right outside the commercial dockyards of Norfolk that has an AMAZING rotating lineup of draft beers, and an equally potent fridge full of bottles. All you have to do is check out the "available at this location" list to see that somehow the Birch pulls down some of the most amazingly rare beers, if extremely tilted toward imports. Follow this place on Facebook to watch the amazing rotation. Food certainly isnít a priority here, but they also offer a solid choice of cheese for a nice nosh to go with the beer. Definitely among the top 3-4 most amazing beer bars Iíve ever visited ... and itís brand new. This place is destined for greatness.
I have to caveat this rating. Iíve been to a few of Ratebeerís highest rated bars and with those in mind, that is how I rated the place. Without a doubt, this is the best beer bar in the Norfolk area. If you are looking for craft brews that are hard to find or a great place to have a conversation, come here. My only complaint is the small menu (food). That being said, I will keep coming back here because they have new beers every week and they know what craft beer enthusiasts are looking for
brand new, and much needed, quality beer bar in West Ghent. selections of beers is fantastic for what is essentially a wasteland of good taps. not many places have Old Guardian í07 on tap! 2o taps plus 1 cask everday that rotate constantly and are updated immediately on the big chalk board. had a few things iíd not seen before and nothing but quality beers. food selection is pretty sparse, but itís cool bar food, and the pretzel with beer mustard was great. service was a little slow but it was a busy tuesday. definitely a place to get to early as itís becomming popular already. havenít got a fill yet but the growler prices seem reasonable. pretty sweet to have a place like this 5 minutes from my apartment.