Wha… why are we talking about a beer that’s not from Virginia? Apart from the fact that we’ve covered Bluejacket before, or that there’s some serious cross-pollination between DC and VA breweries, we happened to notice a picture of the Bluejacket taproom on the twitters recently. You see, the Brewers Association released a study similar to a question we’ve asked before, on whether or not breweries with taprooms draw better sales (the answer as always…it depends). Well, what was important was that they used a picture of Bluejacket on social media as part of the study’s release. We recognized it because, well, we go there pretty frequently. It’s some pretty good food, and the beer ranges from interesting experiments and cask versioning to some flat-out exceptional brews. Pretty soon the national Beer Bloggers & Writers Conference will descend onto Loudoun County to celebrate all things Virginia, but as usual, if you’re up in NoVA it’s worth noting how insanely blessed we are to have some great craft beer destinations in all directions.
Whether you live nearby, are up to visit the Smithsonian or monuments, or are (Athena forbid…) going to a Redskins or Nationals game, you should have Bluejacket on your radar. This beer is one of the main reasons why.
Lost Weekend, Bluejacket Brewing (Washington, DC)
India Pale Ale, 7.0% ABV, 85 IBU
Presentation: Can pour into tuliped pint glass.
Appearance: Fresh, pulpy orange or grapefruit juice – the real kind, not that weird pink stuff. A cloudy straw and cream core makes you think this beer has its origins in New England, but not quite. The rich head leaves beyond only trace lattice.
Taste: The nose is just a delightful citrus rush overtop a brown sugar, almost creamsicle sweetness. Thank the multiple additions of this exclusively Citra-hopped recipe, but we can’t stress enough that there’s more than just juiciness to be had here. The body is course Citra dominated, but it’s fairly muted by what you would call NE standards – this just isn’t that kind of beer though it has some elements in common. The hops here are more green, less ripened, and smoother in many ways. Similarly, the finish is fairly mild, neither overly juicy, hoppy, nor bitter. This is a crushable albeit full-bodied brew.
Mouth Feel: Very thick across the tongue, with evenly balanced sweet, bitter, and acidic notes.
Overall: To be fair, this is a much more juicy beer on draught, and it will only retain its “peak freshness” for about 2-4 weeks in a can. Hazy bordering on opaque, this is still a beer which emphasizes dry hopping rather than juiced out hops. Lost Weekend was an early winner (among many) for Bluejacket, and over the years their brews gone on to be featured in Men’s Health, Southern Living, USA Today, Men’s Journal’s list of Top 100 Beers in America (twice), and even for an exposé in Food & Wine Magazine on the emergence of sour beers…four years ago. So you can ask yourself again why we’re talking about a DC brewery, but just stop asking questions and drink a delicious brew the next time you’re in the nation’s capitol, mmk?