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Posted at 3:55 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

ChurchKey wins beer bar nod from Nightclub & Bar

By Tim Carman
churchkey_opt.jpg ChurchKey: Voted best beer bar in America. (Evy Mages for The Washington Post)

Last year, ChurchKey, the massive suds emporium above Birch & Barley on 14th Street NW, didn't even merit a nomination in the Beer Bar of the Year category in the debut Nightclub & Bar Awards. This year, the Logan Circle watering hole won the category.

The difference? Well, probably the fact that ChurchKey's owners, the folks behind the Neighborhood Restaurant Group, including beer director Greg Engert, were too consumed with running their new place to worry about awards and submissions. After many delays, Birch & Barley/ChurchKey opened in October 2009.

So what are the Nightclub & Bar Awards? Nightclub & Bar is a trade magazine designed to promote the industry. According to this page on its Web site, the awards are part of that mission:

This is not an editor's choice program, or one in which "friends" of Nightclub & Bar and the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show are the only ones considered and recognized. Instead, venue owners, operators and managers, as well as suppliers, vendors and other industry members eager to recognize excellence in on-premise concepts, programs, talent and professionalism are invited to submit entries via Qualifying entries are then put before an expert judging panel composed of top consultants, developers, educators, writers, editors and trainers in the industry. The judges rank their first, second and third choices for each category they judge, and a calculation is applied to identify the Finalists, and ultimately, the Winners, based on the ballots.

The full list of winners can be found here. ChurchKey was the only D.C.-area finalist and winner. The list of finalists can be found here. The winners will be honored at the Nightclub & Bar Convention and Trade Show in March in Las Vegas. Where else?

By Tim Carman  | February 2, 2011; 3:55 PM ET
Categories:  Bars and Clubs  
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