This is part of a Beerventure Series from Steph’s March 2014 trip to Washington, DC. See the rest of the series here.
After hitting up DC Brau during a day trip to Washington D.C., we headed to Bluejacket, located near the Washington Nationals’ ballpark, for lunch. Before I go any further, if you plan on going to Bluejacket and you want to eat, be sure to make a reservation days ahead of time.
The bar area is seat yourself, however both times I’ve been to Bluejacket this area has been packed. This time we made a reservation for lunch, and we were seated within 15 minutes of our reservation time. Walk-ins were waiting well over an hour.
Bluejacket was built to be a “brewery without boundaries,” and the beer selection clearly represents that, including beers from a broad range of styles and flavors. There were 20 beers on tap and 5 beers on cask. The restaurant, The Arsenal, features locally sourced products and house-made specialties.
The building itself, known as the Boilermaker Shops, was built in 1919 and was part of the Navy Yard’s shop and munitions manufacturing complex. As you sit in the restaurant or bar area, you get a unique view of the brewing equipment as you look up.
The gravity-based brewing system, which has the capacity to brew 5,000 barrels, looks spectacular against the architecture of the building. The grains are mashed, lautered, heated and filtered on the top level, then move to the second-tier fermentation tanks. The beer is then moved to serving tanks on the ground floor. The impressive system includes 19 fermentation vessels, an Old World coolship, a lab, and an aging room filled with barrels.
While we were enjoying our lunch, a president stopped by for a visit. Teddy Roosevelt, one of the mascots for the Washington Nationals, stopped by for a visit to promote the ball team, whose stadium is only a few blocks away.
All of the Bluejacket beers come in two sizes, allowing avid beer explorers to experience several styles during their visit. I tasted five offerings, and my favorite was Clockwork, a 5.0% ABV Belgian-style sour blonde ale brewed with Amarillo hops. Double Date had just been tapped that day, and the 7.2% ABV Belgian Brune, brewed with 8 different malts, did not disappoint.
Oh yeah, and when you go, be sure to order the Crispy Chickpeas. They are divine.
After spending the rest of the day walking around Washington, D.C., we headed to Falls Church, Virginia to enjoy dinner at Mad Fox Brewing Company. The traditional Euro gastro brewpub pairs handcrafted, award-winning beer with a menu created in a scratch kitchen that features hand-tossed artisan pizzas, creative burgers, signature frickles, and more.
I enjoyed a sampler of four beers with dinner. The Kölsch and Pils were clean, crisp, and refreshing.The Orange Whip IPA was crazy delicious. This 7.5% ABV brew is dry hopped with Citra hops and provides a pronounced citrus flavor. Another highlight was Crazy Ivan Russian Imperial Stout. The 9.0% ABV brew was designed by a local homebrewer and won Best of Show at the Spirit of Free Beer competition in 2004. I enjoyed this one on cask with tequila-soaked wood spirals. Delicious.
Overall, the weather and delicious beer made for a spectacular day out. I look forward to our next visit to the D.C. area to explore new breweries!
300 Tingey Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
Sunday to Thursday: 11AM to 1AM
Fridays and Saturdays: 11AM to 2AM
Mad Fox Brewing Company
444 West Broad Street, Suite I
Falls Church, VA 22046
Monday to Wednesday: 11AM to 11PM
Thursday to Saturday: 11AM – Midnight
Sunday: 10AM to 11PM