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 I’ve 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 I’ve 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. There’s limited seating outside but on a pleasant evening they open the garage door. Fortunately we don’t live anywhere near Norfolk or we’d 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 !
I’ve 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 (803) 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 it’s 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 they’ve only been open 6 months.
So I go back 16 months after my last visit and the owner remembers my name and where I’m from. Now that’s pretty amazing. I’d raise the service score, but it’s 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 i’m sure in the region. Great place for a date or some beers with friends but you will pay for what you get.
It’s really great to have a world class beer bar in the area. It’s 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 aren’t even getting a full 12 oz. Food is lacking but for what they have it’s 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 (888) 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 ’seasoned’ 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 isn’t 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 I’ve ever visited ... and it’s brand new. This place is destined for greatness.
I have to caveat this rating. I’ve been to a few of Ratebeer’s 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