Jacks of all trades are impressive, but more so are those who focus completely on one area, own it, then go on to dominate another -- think Kris Kristofferson's singing-then-acting, or Suzanne Somers, who ruled sitcoms only to later be anointed Thigh Master. Representing one man's second realm of boozy accomplishment, Church Key.
In a bi-level space stacking a lantern-lit lounge atop a brick-backed, copper-bar'd saloon, Church Key's headed up by the Broken Record honcho, who, having already pushed whiskey to its limits, decided to open a 55-brew, globally sourced suds haven. Pint-sized offerings range from Maine's bourbon-barrel-aged Allagash Curieux, to Belgium's Duchesse De Bourgogne (super rich with hints of balsamic and plum), to Germany's smoky Aecht Rauchbier Marzen ("Remember in The Mask when Jim Carrey said 'Smokin' twenty times in a half hour? It's like that but more entertaining." So it tastes like that). For the more expansive drinker, Church Key stocks 24oz jugs including Black Orchard Belgian Dark Ale (evocative of spearmint and rhum agricole), vanilla-tinged La Roja red from Jolly Pumpkin in MI, and champagne beers like Brazil's Eisenbahn Lust, marked by sweetness, light fruit, and a magnificent ass
Church Key will soon serve Euro-style wild game pies (elk, oxtail, etc), and on the 30th and 31st they're throwing a grand opening bash with $5 brew/zin tastings, champagne and big beer bottle service, Dixie rock bands, and an endearingly crappy portrait artist -- all of which might sound overwhelming, but you'll be OK if you just take it Step By Step.