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D.C.-made beer may not seem as novel as it once was, now that the city has production breweries like DC Brau, Chocolate City, 3 Stars, and Atlas Brew Works. But that didn’t dampen the hype surrounding October’s opening of Bluejacket in Navy Yard.
The brewery—don’t call it a brewpub—from Neighborhood Restaurant Group (the folks behind Iron Gate, GBD, and Birch & Barley, among others) plans to produce 5,000 barrels a year, including some of the most innovative beer in the District. Beer Director Greg Engert and Head Brewer Megan Parisi are collaborating with fellow Neighborhood Restaurant Groups chefs and other chefs, mixologists, and sommeliers around town to create a wide range of culinary-inspired beers. For example, Engert and Parisi worked with Red Apron Butcher’s Nate Anda to create a half-smoke-like doppelbock with smoked malts and many of the same spices used in the meat, including white cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne. And rather than sister restaurant The Arsenal creating a burger to go with the beer, Engert and Parisi have devised a black lager meant to pair perfectly with the burger. Between that and the rotating roster of more than 20 drafts and casks, Bluejacket’s beers are worth the hype.