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Where in Town: ChurchKey, 1337 14th St. NW

Price: $3/4 oz, $7/11.2 oz

If You Build It…

Their Navy Yard brewery may not be up and running until later this summer, but Bluejacket’s Megan Parisi and Greg Engert have spent the last year making beer with respected brewers from across the U.S. and Europe. Their partnership with Brasserie de la Senne of Brussels produced the 17th of 20 preopening releases showcasing the flavor-first methods the local duo will employ in their own brew house. Equipped to craft a variety of specialized and slow-matured brews, Bluejacket’s setup is a brewer’s wonderland meant to attract collaborators—past and future—to D.C.

Shades of Gray

Gray Jacket is based on a forgotten Belgian ale style called La Grisette Supérieure. Just as saisons were first brewed for summer farm laborers, a Grisette, derived from the French word for gray, is said to have been served to miners in the Hainaut region of Belgium. The color-themed name is a nod to the cobblestone quarries there, but it also alludes to the use of wheat, which gives the beer a hazy appearance. This “urban farmhouse ale” marries the spicy, tart characteristics of traditional Belgian yeast with the American use of hops; Citra, Hersbrucker, and Saaz impart notes of tropical fruit and grass and a crisp, dry finish. The result is a smooth, subtly tart, thirst-quenching beer. Better hurry, though: ChurchKey went through a third of its stash in just two days.

Photo by Tammy Tuck