To celebrate Bluejacket’s tenth anniversary their space will become a Bavarian beer hall. They invite you to their garten und keller on Saturday, September 16, from 11 AM to 5 PM for an Oktoberfest-themed celebration.
They are serving ten German- and (Austrian-) style beers, some of which you’ve never seen before. This includes eight rubber-clad Fraconian-style gravity kegs and two beers pouring on draft, which will all be featured in Bluejacket one-liter steins while supplies last. Guests can take home these limited edition mugs with the purchase of their first large-format beer, and snack on kitchen specialities like beer brats, pretzels, schnitzel, Wiesnhendl, and knockwurst.
I asked Ro Guenzel, Director of Brewing Operations at Bluejacket about the event and the beer I’m most excited for, Code Orange, a collaboration Sticke Altbier with Bierstadt Lagerhaus (just ever so slightly more excited for it than reformatted Discreet Charm, the brewery’s Smoked Helles Lager). A list of the beers available Saturday follows the interview.
DCB: Tell us about the 10th anniversary celebration and the Bavarian beer hall idea.
RG: The 10 year anniversary celebration happens to kick off with our annual Oktoberfest Celebration. We have tried to make Oktoberfest bigger and better every year. Some years we might even get to the point of having a parade to start things off!
DCB: Who’s idea was it to brew a dry hopped Sticke Altbier? Did Ashleigh Carter and Bill Eye of Bierstadt Lagerhaus influence the idea at all?
RG: We modeled the beer after Ueirge’s Doppel Sticke which is basically a German Barley Wine. Being Americans, we have to dry hop our barley wine. The recipe and process was a collaboration. We started with a straightforward big recipe. After boiling we let gravity take the wort to our coolship. The intention here was to allow for good volatilization of undesirable compounds as well as have a very shallow liquid column to facilitate protein removal, otherwise known as hot break. Before the beer got into the proverbial microbial danger zone we pumped the beer back up through our heat exchanger to chill and aerate the wort on the way to our open fermenter. We then pitched alt yeast from BSI in Colorado Springs. During the fermentation we skimmed in brown scum that rose with the yeast. This being primarily hop particulate and protein. This skimming along with shallow coolship should yield a brilliant, read clear, beer with no astringency. After a 9 day fermentation in the open tank, we moved the beer into our horizontal maturation tank to finish off fermentation and build up natural carbonation. After 2 months of gentle aging in the horizontal, we transferred the beer into a cylindro conical tank along with some beautiful Seitz farm Hersbrucker hops. Then off to the finishing tank and kegs. The beer is mahogany, 8.5% ABV and ~50 BUs. It is a beautiful juggling act of alcohol, covered up by malt sweetness and cut by hop bitterness.
DCB: This will be the second-ever dry hopped alt sticke I’ve ever had, after Uerige’s Jrön, have you had dry hopped Alt before?
RG: No commercial ones I can recall, just homebrews. Untappd ticks were not a thing the last time I was in Dusseldorf. In fact I don’t remember much from that visit other than seeing a kids car ride in the train station that was K.I.T.T. from the show Nightrider. David Hasselhoff was airbrushed on the hood, it was bad ass. I may have gotten scolding glances from some Germans when I hopped in for a ride. It was also the first time I had Speckpfannekuchen, basically a bacon pancake. Just what you need after trying to drink the town dry. We drank every beer available at every brewery along with copious amounts of Killepitsch. I probably had a dry hopped alt along the way.
DCB: What will be the first beer you go for on Saturday, and why?
RG: I will start my day as everyone should, witn Pattern Skies our Weissbier. Because I gotta eat a weisswurst and bretzen before the church bells strike noon. You need to have a good base to drink all day. That is what I intend to do.
DCB: Finally, anything I didn’t ask that you’d like the DC Beer readership to know?
RG: Lederhosen are actually very comfortable and practical. I will be biking into the brewery on Saturday morning wearing my riding tracht. There might even be other lederhosen clad riders with me, you could call it a parade.
Beers available Saturday:
Hill House (Fest Lager)
Before Sunrise (Austrian Märzen)
Love Cats (North German Pilsner)
Self Portrait (Bavarian Pilsner)
For The Company (Helles Lager)
Pattern Skies (Weissbier)
Discreet Charm (Smoked Helles Lager)
Code Orange (Sticke Altbier – Bierstadt Collab.)
Baby Blue (Kölsch)
Metal Guru (Helles Bock)
All beer and food is pay as you go, and yes, a German-style band will play. See you there! Prost!