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Forthcoming Bluejacket Brewery Unveils Latest Collaborations at Churchkey

by Lauren Sloat on Aug 6, 2012 in Beer for ChurchKey
Forthcoming Bluejacket Brewery Unveils Latest Collaborations at Churchkey

Last Wednesday, masterminds Megan Parisi and Greg Engert of the forthcoming Bluejacket Brewery officially unveiled three new craft beers (joining two others) now on tap at ChurchKey, part of a lead up to the official opening of the brewery and pub. Though we’re still several months away from the Bluejacket opening on the Capitol Riverfront, Parisi and Engert just couldn’t wait to start brewing under the Bluejacket name, which led to collaborations with six top-notch craft breweries around the country. Leading the pack? Washington O.C., a caramel-tinged quad clocking in at 10.5% ABV.

“We wanted to create something Belgian-inspired because that’s The Bruery’s forte,” says Engert, of the Orange County, California-based brewery known for its Belgian ales. Head brewer Parisi created the batch with Belgian ale yeast, lending a touch of bitterness to the brew that Engert describes as “strong but not boozy.” Parisi and Engert, who approach beer-making much like the process of cooking, were intent on adding additional ingredients to up the complexity. Enter Special B malt, a raisin-like malt that imparts added body, and a dose of caramelized sugar responsible for the ale’s mild sweetness. The crowning glory: The batch was conditioned in stainless steel tanks with 450 pounds of pureed plums, from which it absorbed color and flavor for a full week.

Calling it “a composed dish of a beer,” Engert likens the brew to red wine in its ability to pair with food, which on Wednesday night was seared lamb loin with tomato, feta and dill.

Of the special collaboration releases, Washington O.C. is the most plentiful in quantity. That’s fortunate, too: Neighborhood Restaurant Group rep Megan Bailey tells us it has been one of the most popular, especially with the ladies. See for yourself — Washington O.C. and the four other limited-release brews are on tap now at ChurchKey.

Photos by Lauren Sloat

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