Where in Town: Bluejacket, 300 Tingey St. SE
Price: $12/750 mL
Rock the Boat
The Navy Yard of yesteryear is long gone, but it’s easy to find reminders of the thousands of sailors who have manned the ships once built there. Take Bluejacket, whose very name is military slang for an enlisted U.S. sailor. Neighborhood Restaurant Group owns and operates the brewery, which occupies a mammoth red brick and glass building once used in the manufacture of ship boilers and armaments. But even this vast space has proved too small—last month, Bluejacket unveiled a bottle shop and tasting room adjacent to its on-site dining room, the Arsenal. Open Fridays and weekends, the shop features six beers on tap and, as of last week, 16 bottles to take away.
Yeast On This
Among those bottles was Spectre, an IPA fermented with Bluejacket’s house strain of Brettanomyces bruxellensis, a yeast known for the funky, earthy character it imparts. The beer is dry-hopped with two of my favorites: the tropical fruit-invoking Nelson Sauvin varietal from New Zealand and Falconer’s Flight, a blend of the best citrusy and piney hops from the Pacific Northwest. Spectre’s aroma suggests grapefruit and lemon rind. Its flavor is reminiscent of slightly sweetened marmalade on water crackers enjoyed with a dry chardonnay. The balanced 6.8-percent-alcohol brew’s finish is beautifully dry with a simultaneously sweet and bitter aftertaste. First released last summer, the recipe continues to evolve, but this latest result easily ranks among the best beers the Bluejacket team has produced. So far, anyway.
Photo by Tammy Tuck