May 11, 2018
Though Churchkey has the vibe of a stylish city cocktail lounge it actually specializes in beer and stocks a dizzying array of varieties from all over the planet. With over 550 labels drawn from 30 different countries, there are literally hundreds to choose from, both bottled and on draft (as well as five cask ales on rotation). The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and happy to help those unsure of what to choose, and they even offer beer tasting flights if you want to really broaden your beer horizons. Purists will rejoice that not only do they store the beers as recommended (with three different temperature zones depending on the optimum temperature required for the best flavour) they also stock a huge selection of glassware, so that your beer comes in the right vessel for the enthusiast there can be fewer more annoying niggles than having your Hoegaarden arrive in a Duval glass or vice versa. Churchkey is a bar where that simply wouldn’t happen, and such attention to detail across the board lifts this place above the norm. The place has a familiar kind of industrial, urban loft feel about it and the atmosphere is super-chilled and friendly, and while it can get crowded, it’s never rowdy. They also serve top notch bar snacks (try their poutine, the classic Canadian chips, cheese and gravy combo, for some proper beer fodder). You can always head to Birch and Barley, the restaurant downstairs, if you want a slightly more formal dining experience though of course you can also get a decent beer there to go with your meal.