Location: Washington, DC
Type: Production brewery/brewpub
Available in DC Market: Yes; currently only serving The Arsenal, the restaurant and bar situated beneath Bluejacket
What You Need to Know: One of the midatlantic's most anticipated openings, Bluejacket hit the ground running in 2013 under the helm of NRG beer director Greg Engert with over 20 beers on tap for their opening. They've had a constant expanding rotation ever since. With a large infantry of innovative beers that run the gambit of styles and often subvert tradition in order to expand what we consider beer, this DC brewery relies on flavor profiles and pairings instead of stylistic guidelines. With collaborations with breweries like Stone, Cigar City, and Brasserie Trois Dames, Bluejacket has had no problems pushing limits, packing patrons into the bar, and garnering accolades from the public and industry stalwarts in a short amount of time.
Beer #1: Bourbon Barrel Aged Burning Bush (Triplel / 8.5%)
In Their Own Words: "The base beer is a tripel brewed with a full lemon bergamot bush we got from Nate [Anda]'s Red Apron garden (at Commissary). The brew was then refermented for six months with three strains of Brettanomyces. This base beer is called Burning Bush, and we will be tapping it soon at Bluejacket. The beer for [SAVOR] is a blend of 1/3 base Burning Bush with 2/3 Bourbon Barrel Aged Burning Bush (1/3 each from two separate James E. Pepper 1776 Bourbon Oak Barrels; the base Burning Bush has then been aged in these barrels for an additional three months).”
Food Pairing: Cauliflower florets seasoned with masala and charred. Served with dates and Greek yogurt.
Our Thoughts: This is a very ambitious pairing with a wide range of commanding flavors going on. It is just as plausible that it's the pairing hit of the event as it is having people think there's too much is going on and opting to consume the beer and the dish separately. Dates and Pepper barrels will compliment each other while the aromatics of the bergamot and masala seem like a match made in heaven – if they can come through in harmony. The real X factor in this pairing is contingent upon the robust earthiness in the masala playing nice with the yeast-driven qualities of the tripel and finding a balance within these assertive flavors. In the end, there is a good deal of respect for this pairing simply in the attempt to go beyond the simple and well tread. SAVOR is truly a time a time to shine and this pairing could do just that.
Beer #2: Forbidden Planet (Dry-hopped Kolsch / 4.2% ABV)
In Their Own Words: "Heavily dry hopped with Australian-grown Galaxy hops; semi-dry and quaffable with bold passion fruit, peach, and mango aromatics.”
Food Pairing: Chilled, lime-marinated salmon ceviche served with crème fraiche.
Our Thoughts: Light and bright flavors dominate this no-brainer pairing that will be a welcome alternative to some of the heavier/darker offerings. Bright citrus and subtle saline will intermingle with the Galaxy aromatics. Crisp carbonation from the Kolsch will entice another sip.
This profile is a part of the DCBeer.com SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.