USA Today Names The Birch as #5 Beer Bar in America

Yes, the fifth best beer bar in the freaking country. Go Birch!

According to USA Today:

While you can get a good craft beer just about anywhere these days, these 10 winners for Best Beer Bar offer so much more. Stellar selections of local, rare and unusual brews, knowledgeable bar staff to help narrow down the choice and a great atmosphere make these beer bars must-visits for any craft beer enthusiast.”

The Birch, which is located in the Chelsea section of Norfolk and has only been open since early 2011, was slotted between The J. Clyde in Birmingham, Alabama, and the The Bier Stein in Eugene, Oregon. Malia Paasch and her crew are putting Norfolk on the map.


It’s fun looking back on our article about the opening of the Birch. “The buzz surrounding The Birch has been considerable, and well warranted,” we wrote. “It remains to be seen, of course, if the momentum sustains after the initial whirlwind that accompanies the inaugural few weeks of a place like The Birch.”

It’s safe to say the Birch has passed its audition.

We asked Malia a few questions about the honor.

AltDaily: What does this mean to you? It must be very validating.

Malia: It is a huge honor to even be nominated for the list and even more so to be voted number 5! Our patrons and supporters near and far voted tirelessly for a whole month to get us there! Without them none of this would even be possible; they’ve traveled and visited other bars, they know The Birch is a special place.

What sets The Birch apart that makes it deserve this honor?

One of my favorite things about The Birch is that it has a clear concept: beer and cheese. This allows me to focus on offering the most unique, interesting, and quality brews I can possibly get my hands on! There’s always something new to try and that’s what keeps bringing people back. Additionally, I have one of the best staffs in the world! They are extremely helpful when it comes to answering questions about the beer selection, what things taste like, and if they don’t know they are going to try their best to find out! We are constantly educating ourselves and our patrons, the beer scene is evolving and changing and we try and keep up with that.


What do you all have going on in the next couple months that people should be aware of?

Our 6th Annual St. Kiuchi Day is coming up on Saturday, March 12. It was one of the first big events The Birch ever put on. It was five days after the Tsunami in Japan and I had heard the Kiuchi Brewery, who makes Hitachino Nest White, had been damaged. Despite this, they started using their bottling line to bottle water for the near by towns. The event then featured just the few Hitachino bottles that were in stock; now The Birch becomes a Kiuchi Brewery tasting room for the day, offering 5 drafts and 8 in the bottle. A portion of the sales goes towards the Tsunami Relief fund on Global Giving. We’ve been donating for 5 years now!

The next big event is 43 Hours of Bitter and that will be April 12- 16.

Anything we miss?

Our most recent fascination has been with cider and meads. We added 5 additional taps last May that are dedicated cider and mead lines. It has been exciting to learn more about them and be able to offer a more diverse selection of ciders.

For more of The Birch, here they are on Facebook.



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