Coming soon to Bluejacket: free behind-the-scene tours, showcasing the brewing operation that produces more than two dozen craft brews on the southeast waterfront.
Bluejacket tours begin on Jan. 31 and will be held every Friday and Saturday at the brewery. If you’re lucky, your tour leader may be Neighborhood Restaurant Group Beer Director Greg Engert, who conceptualizes the beers alongside head brewer Megan Parisi.
Tours will run for about 20 to 30 minutes and cover all three levels of the brewery, including a close-up look at the open fermenter and a room for barrel-aging sour beers. Each tour will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., with groups limited to 15 people each. Participants will receive a complementary pour after each tour at the ground floor bar and restaurant, The Arsenal.
But unlike other local breweries, you’ll have to leave your growlers at home for this tour. Bluejacket holds a firm anti-growler position, largely because they say the beer loses quality and flavor once the growler is opened. Still, there are plans in the works to offer smaller, corked-and-caged beer bottles in the near future, Engert says.
In addition to the free tours, a more elaborate tasting tour ($22 per person, plus tax) will be available on Fridays and Saturdays from 2:30 to 3 p.m. This tour is by reservation only (maximum of 20 people) and includes five different tastings, including a tank sample from a beer still in-progress.
If you’re looking to combine food and drink, there’s also a 4:30 p.m. tour and beer dinner on Saturdays. It starts with the five-beer tasting tour and finishes with a four-course beer dinner, dreamed up by Engert and chef Kyle Bailey. Reservations are also required for this tour and dinner, and the cost is $75 per person (tax and tip not included).
Bluejacket is currently accepting reservations for beer tours by phone and will soon accept reservations on their site: (202) 524-4862 or www.bluejacketdc.com.
Photo of Greg Engert and Megan Parisi by Darrow Montgomery