Long-awaited, ambitious brewery Bluejacket makes its grand debut on Tuesday at 4. The Navy Yard beer factory, bar, and restaurant combines the talents of Neighborhood Restaurant Group’s Greg Engert with brewer Megan Parisi. There’s also a restaurant—the Arsenal—from Birch & Barley chef Kyle Bailey; Dan Hahndorf is chef de cuisine.
Every year around this time, our enthusiasm for beer reaches a fever pitch. You can celebrate the season with Oktoberfest events, of course, or just stock up on all those pumpkin beers on the market. Alternatively, you can take a local approach and tour a nearby brewery. Here’s the skinny on six Washington-area beer-making facilities open to the public.
3178-B Bladensburg Rd., NE; 202-621-8890
Free tours and tastings most Saturdays (call ahead) noon to 4.
“Growler hours” coincide with tours of this Northeast production brewery—fill up 32- or 64-ounce containers of beers.
BREW BOWL I
Atlanta vs. Houston
Terrapin Beer Company—Rye Pale Ale (12-ounce bottle, ABV 5.5 percent, IBU 35, OG 13.3)
Saint Arnold—Icon Belgian-Style Pale Ale (12-ounce bottle, ABV 6 percent)
The right styles were paired in the final. Terrapin’s pale ale representing the Atlanta Falcons against Saint Arnold’s pale ale representing the Houston Texans.
Brehony: “I have tasted very few Belgian-style beers made in America that I’ve really liked. It’s tough, but I think Saint Arnold is more interesting.”
Bui: “A unique, ambitious beer. Terrapin just tastes better.”
It was too close call, so it went to overtime. After a retaste and scoring, we determined that Terrapin kicked a late field goal for the win on freshness and balance.
Brew Bowl: Atlanta 27, Houston 24 (OT)
Predicted NFL score: Baltimore 24, San Francisco 17
If you missed out on part 1 of Brew Bowl I, read it here.
The teams (okay, beers) that made it through to the divisional round: Minnesota, San Francisco, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Baltimore, Denver, New England, and Houston. Here's how the Divisional and Championship rounds played out.
Minnesota vs. San Francisco
Surly Brewing Company—Furious American India Pale Ale (16-ounce can, ABV 6.2 percent, IBU 99, OG 15)
21st Amendment Brewery—Sneak Attack Farmhouse Saison Brewed With Cardamom Pods (12-ounce can, ABV 6.2 percent, IBU 38)
For the Divisional round, we revisited Surly, this time against a tough number-two seed in a can-versus-can matchup.
Bui: “The yeasty saison has beautiful color like California Champagne.”
Brehony: “I’m all for the 21st Amendment. Super clean with spicy yeastiness.”
Salpukas: “If I imagine what soap tastes like, I’d say the Sneak Attack has a soapy finish. That said, I love it.”
Bui: “The color really impressed me. Touch of herbs with dry bitter hops. We should do this against 3 Stars, though. I’d prefer the 3 Stars over this saison. Great beer from start to middle, but not the finish.”
Broadbent: “Both are 6.2 percent ABV, and I much preferred the 21st Amendment. I felt it straddled the [wants of] the beer geeks and the beer drinkers. It could satisfy both needs. Surly couldn’t satisfy the beer drinker."
Sneak Attack was multidimensional, with a front-palate bite and cardamom in the back. A small can with big flavors and lots of action, but very drinkable.
Brew Bowl: San Francisco 45, Minnesota 31
NFL score: San Francisco 45, Green Bay 31
In the First AFL-NFL World Championship—later renamed Super Bowl I—the Bart Starr-led Green Bay Packers routed the Kansas City Chiefs 35 to 10. Al “Jazzy Jew” Hirt played trumpet at halftime, and spectators drank canned beer.
This year, Super Bowl XLVII is trumpeting Beyoncé’s halftime spectacle, while Budweiser kicks off its Black Crown golden amber lager campaign. Yet pampered palates accustomed to refilling growlers and playing name-that-microbrew with tap handles deserve better than some Busch-league spin on “thirsty for a championship.” You want to know what beer to drink on Super Bowl Sunday? I give you the Brew Bowl I.
The building at 6400 Chillum Place, Northwest, already had 20-foot ceilings, a sprinkler system, and a trench drain. All Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey had to do to start their brewery was add was the equipment, plumbing, and electricity. Not to say it was cheap. It certainly cost a lot more than the homebrewing kit McGarvey’s fiancée bought him about five years ago, kicking off the series of events that brought them to 6400 Chillum.
Good news for you, beer drinkers of Silver Spring. An ordering mistake at the Quarry House Tavern has left the delightful dive with a big surplus of suds, and the bar’s Gordon Banks brings word that that he’s looking to unload the excess beer (about six weeks’ worth) as soon as possible.
As if we Washingtonians needed any more incentive to crack a local microbrew and take in some televised base-rallying, DC Beer brings word that Port City Brewing Company founder Bill Butcher will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention tonight.
The White House caused quite a stir this weekend when it finally published the recipes for its house-brewed Honey Ale and Honey Porter. A few other local brewing operations (the White House is local, after all) are looking in to reproducing it, as the City Paper reported today. And beer writer John Fleury told Best Bites Blog this morning he’s working with fellow homebrewers to amass as many DMV-sourced ingredients as possible to use in recreating the recipes.
With all the excitement over the news, we felt compelled to check in with Brody Burks, the Texas Lawyer who famously submitted a Freedom of Information Act request asking for the recipe to be released.
When 3 Stars Brewing Company celebrates the grand opening of its Takoma brewery this Saturday, Ward 4 council member Muriel Bowser will be the one cutting the ribbon. “She was instrumental in helping us open,” says 3 Stars co-owner Dave Coleman. He called upon Bowser whenever 3 Stars got tangled up in the reams of red tape involved in opening a District of Columbia brewery. “We’d call her, and next thing we knew we’d have what we were trying to get”—including the DC Homebrew Shop, opened this June and stocked with the necessary ingredients and tools to get a home beermaking operation going.