You won’t find Bud Light, Miller Light, or Coors Light at The Birch. They intend to stock American Craft Beers and Craft Beers from around the world.
Come on. You know you’re curious.
Maybe you’ve seen the chartreuse storefront around the corner from Tortilla West in West Ghent. Or maybe you’ve read the discussions about @TheBirchBar on Twitter. Or maybe you’ve heard the chatter around town. Either way, there is a buzz about The Birch. While it can be fun to gossip and make idle speculation, my curiosity was eating at me.
Aside from that blurb and photos of the bar under construction, there isn’t much information. I wanted more details and I wasn’t going to wait until they opened in mid to late November.
I met with Malia Paasch and Ben Bublick, the partners behind The Birch to get some facts. The Birch was inspired by their encounters with Craft Beer bars while living in Savannah, Georgia. When they returned home to Hampton Roads, they wanted to recreate that experience. What is Craft Beer? I had an idea of what it is, but looked up the exact definition.
You won’t find Bud Light, Miller Light, or Coors Light at The Birch. They intend to stock American Craft Beers and Craft Beers from around the world. With a plan to have 20+ draft taps and a large collection of bottled beers, their selection will be vast. Suggestions for beers to stock are welcomed via email. If demand can support it, the drafts will change weekly. Yes, I said WEEKLY. Their website will have the brews available on tap listed daily. They will also be offering growlers – a concept that is uncommon to this area.
That’s right. Draft beer To-go. While their alcohol offerings are beer-centric, they will also be serving Old World wines – wines from France, Italy, and the like. Their food menu will be fairly light with snack foods, cheese platters and panini sandwiches.
If you’ve seen their location, then you already know the The Birch is small. With a maximum capacity of 50 with outdoor seating, it is cozy. This is intentional. This will be a small neighborhood bar where you can sit and talk over a few brews.
There will be no big screens or live music, just some good music and the hum of conversation. Their location in West Ghent near Lambert’s Point was carefully selected to be off-the-beaten path. They wanted to be a part of the revitalization of West Ghent, and to create a bit of adventure in getting to their location. Despite being in a neighborhood location, they will have their own parking lot which is a block away from the bar.
As much as I love Cogan’s and the Taphouse in Ghent, with all that is planned I am looking forward to The Birch’s opening. Let’s hope that everything is as well-executed as it sounds. As far as I’m concerned, you can never have too much access to good brews.
- Opening mid-to-late November The Birch 1231 W. Olney Road Norfolk, VA, 23507. Hours of Operation Mon – Thurs: 3:00 pm – 12:00 am Fri – Sat: 3:00 pm – 2:00 am Closed Sunday