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Bluejacket / Arsenal Restaurant

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Based on:
117 Beers
1,010 Hads
Place Score: 89
Reviews: 20
Visits: 78
Avg: 3.96
pDev: n/a
Taps: 25
Bottles: --
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: Y
[ Brewery, Bar, Eatery ]

300 Tingey St SE
Washington, District of Columbia, 20003-4600
United States
phone: (202) 524-4862

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @bluejacketdc

Place added by: Thorpe429 on 05-12-2012

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 20 | Visits: 78
Photo of delta490
4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Came in for food and beer before a Nats game. All around a great time. We had a staff shift and both the servers were great: personable and knowledgable about their beers and menu. We tried several of their offerings and never had a bad one and each bought a bottle to take home. They even held the bottles at their bottle shop for us to pick up after the game. Definitely will come back regularly.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.25

Visited on a Wednesday at about 3pm. Lunch rush just over. It was slow.

Bottom line, the beer does not yet rival the space and the vibe. Bet this place can be a mad house on baseball days.

V - Excellent space, open, bright, good music (maybe a bit loud for a business meeting), cool with the brewery above you, long inviting bar, TVs for sport since you're so near Nationals Park, not your typical dark beer bar vibe but a good one nonetheless! 4.5
Q - Five beers on cask that were also available on CO2. Definitely the right temperature and clean & proper glassware. 4.5
Ser - Proper level of attention. Friendly. Helpful even when not necessary and/or unexpected. 4.5
Sel - Only Bluejacket beer and that does not yet deserve a high rating all by itself. 3.25
F - N/A

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Photo of Cpmitchno1
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

BlueJacket is an excellent experience. It is well done all the way with excellent food and a fairly wide variety of beers to choose from. Both times I have been, the selections have been heavy toward the IPA/Sour side, but a wide selection nonetheless. I think all of the beers are solid, but none are spectacular. Good place if you are in the area and has a great vibe to it.

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Photo of DavidHume
4.34/5  rDev +9.6%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

I first visited Bluejacket when they opened, and was very unimpressed by their beers. Fast forward a couple of years, and it's a whole different story. They've got the best IPAs in the area (sorry, Ocelot!), their sours are close to spot on, and the space that they've got is the best in the area. I'll be back.

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Photo of headbangingteacher
4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.75 | food: 4

This is a must visit destination if you are anywhere in its vicinity. Aside from a few mainstays, these guys rotate brews and always have 20 available. Personally, I love that they seem to love to develop new sours on a consistent basis, but they typically have a range of styles, including some choices additionally available as cask versions. Another bonus here is that all beers are available as tasters, and they never seem to mind if tasters are all you want. On one visit, sitting at the bar, we were lucky enough to be served by a bartender who was extremely knowledgeable about the Bluejacket beers, and beers in general. His willingness to spend time with us was indicative of all the serving experiences I've had at what I believe to be the most exciting brewpub in the D.C. area. Oh yeah, and you can purchase 750 ml bottles of 7-8 of the 20 styles on any given day. Once more, I highly recommend this place.

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Photo of MattXT
4.21/5  rDev +6.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Visited after a Nats game was postponed, so it was very busy. Was told a 1.5hr wait for a table, but put my name in anyways. Got a drink at the bar, and our table was ready in a half hour. Beer selection was wide and tasty from the kolsch to the stouts and sours. Food was also very nice, and the pretzels are fantastic. Will certainly return.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Came here during the 6th inning of a Nationals game when they are getting blown out.... located just 4 or 5 blocks west of the stadium so stopped there quick for some samplers on the way back to the car.

Place is HUGE... and the decor is modern and very expensive looking.... definitely one of the better looking brewpubs I've ever visited.

Even with a Nats game going on down the street, the place was still super packed. Besides the bar, they have several 'community tables' with 8 seats, so was able to snag a few spots at one of those.

They had roughly 20 beers on tap, and it seemed like 3/4 of which were either IPAs or saisons... not much variety to be had. Also, the overall vibe of the place just seemed a bit pretentious, with exact serving temperatures and long, drawn out descriptions for each of the 20 beers which seemed to regurgitate a lot of the same adjectives.

Didn't try the food but the menu seemed quite tasty. Overall, this a great place to visit and I'd definitely come back again. But, just seems a little caught up in itself and the beer styles need to vary and not just be all hoppy saisons and IPAs.

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Photo of Griffin2
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Bluejacket is a nice place to drink a beer. A lot fancier than the taprooms most breweries I have experienced. The beers were different, but really interesting. It was pretty busy, so service was slow.

We didn't have any food, but looking around, the food looked pretty good.

Definitely a good place to hit before a Nationals game, as it's just down the street from the stadium.

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Photo of N17shelfside
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

I really like the vibe of this place. It is the closest thing to some of the great breweries and brewpubs of San Diego that I have experienced in DC. Food is pretty good at the bar at least and the beer is always solid, but not usually spectacular. It is hard to gauge what their wheelhouse beer really is, but on paper they offer some crazy stuff for reasonable prices. Beer styles that would go for 10$ or more in DC are often 7 or less for a serving. Great that they have 4 beer engines going at all times, and often are doing something interesting in the casks.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.24/5  rDev +7.1%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Decent sized restaurant to go with the brewery (larger in my mind than "brewpub" status), if you include the outside. Medium-sized bar with a nice amount if community tables surrounding it to allow for a good sized crowd.

Been here a few times and the service has always been spot on, neither overbearing not absent. The beer selection is quite nice, about 20 taps and 5 cask. Most beers, however, have a certain similarity that some brewers have, good or bad. The quality of the brews is quite good, but a rate few really stand out. Most beers are crisp and clean in their profile. The one aspect I have with most of the beer is they tend to be on the light side of body.

Food is fairly limited in selection, but of a fairly high quality. We've enjoyed our times at Bluejacket, and enjoyed their beer, even if we are still waiting for a breakthrough must have from them.

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Photo of slander
4.34/5  rDev +9.6%

Saturday, lunch play, a cab and away. Took some doing to get out here, and by that I mean, it seemed like not a quick jaunt from the ‘otel. Just as well we didn’t attempt to walk it as the May SAVOR rain kicked in halfway there. Taking in the sites, the residential, the parks, and then the complex of everything you’d reasonably want near your ballpark, down by the river...

It’s a massive airplane hangar of a room with a giant vaulted ceiling to the rear curvy corrugated, and a sprawling tall wall of paneled windowings. Through and to the rear, a straight stainless steel pieced and riveted topped bar, with a base of the same and my feet left to dangle. Seating for 20ish on high wooden chairs end to end with neat baby brass lamps on the bar along the way. Barback is counter length of center. A barbell tower of 20 taps with non descript handles on one end, a stainless steel box of 10 with a pair of 5’s below on the other end, and a 5 handle wood cask box with angled nose dived firkins fed in between displayed coolered. Glassware & tiered booze, and a glassware rack below.

Blue patterned wallpaper and wide slat wood floors. Drop cylinder punching bag lighting over the center, and dangling brass pieced lamps over the seating along the perimeter. Flatscreens over the bar in a row, and a light board piece on the far wall listing the 20 Blue Jacket offerings. Serving tanks behind the barback and fermenters up above on the 2nd floor. Actually there’s a whole lot of brewing equipment on multiple levels and staircases going to everywhere from everywhere; it’s like an Escher print.

4 shared hightops off the bar and booths along the perimeter. Between the bar and dining side, there’s a dividing half wall of racking holding house bottlings on alt height shelves. Front room holds a dozen and a half tables & booths; a mix & match of all sizes, shapes, & direction. Slight seating and barrels stacked questionably on the second floor, and a seating pen out front; some of it protecting those seated there from the elements.

Extensive beer menu lists beer, style, taste profile, ABV, IBU’s, serving temperature, glass type & size, description, and taster & glass pricing. 20 Blue Jacket originals with silly meaningless names I will dispense with (Smoked Oud Bruin, Brett Farmhouse Ale, Robust Porter, Lemon Lavender Wit, Citra IPA, Barleywine, Mesquite Smoked Belgian Strong Blonde, Dry Hopped IPA, Belgian Stout, Scotch Bonnet Pepper Wee Heavy, Spiced Sweet Stout, Brett Tripel, Dry Hopped Kolsch, India Pale Lager, Strong Vanilla Blonde with Cacao nibs, Imperial Schwarzbier, Sour Saison with subtle smoke, Imperial Azacca IPA, Session Rye Lager, Sour Witbier), and 5 cask offerings (IPA dry hopped with Falconer, Lemon Lavender Wit with lemon zest & basil, Sour Saison with subtle smoke and American Oak spirals, IPA dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin, Scotch Bonnet Pepper Wee Heavy with Scotch Bonnet peppers).

I sampled through shortys, as I do (Brett Farmhouse Ale, nice spicy everything; Citra IPA, oh hell yes, Citra WIN; IPA, brewed & dry hopped with Falconer’s Flight, good solid IPA; Spiced Sweet Stout, vanilla, cinnamon, peppers, interesting; Dry Hopped Kolsch, with Galaxy, quite good; Imperial Azacca IPA, good tropical fruit but a bit of a beast at 10.8%; Sour Witbier, Berliner goodness; Cask IPA dry hopped with Nelson Sauvin, yes, that works for me, thank you).

We moved from the bar to a table; I’m not sure why. Phil doesn’t want to eat here and Ed & Megan already ‘et, but Mike ordered food and then Phil caved (as he does), so I ordered the house tots and the Asian salad (romaine, sesame seeds, orange segments, carrots, almonds, in a ginger dressing). The crispy crunchy tots came in the natural cubed form and the salad was quite good, crispy noodles and all, but will somebody please tell me (using small words so I can understand) why the fuck I didn’t have chicken added to it? Yeah, riddle me that!

From where I’m sitting, I can see the New York Trapeze School people across the street. I wonder if the daring young men and women are those friends of McBabe we did New Year’s with back in ’12. Food was good, and beerwise, everything I had was solid. I mean, I didn’t have any clunkers, but I think it’s partially because I stayed to the road and kept off the moors. I drank roughly 1/3 of the draft offerings in shortys and stopped just before things started getting style silly. Dangerously treading the experimental/wildly out of control line (Stop smoking beers, especially on phenol bandaidy beechwood), but a good house overall, me thinks.

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Photo of qchic
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Really liked this place. Got in before the sat night crowd and had many a 4 oz sample of quite a range of styles. Didn't love every single one of them, but with reasonable prices (esp for DC), they were worth the shot. Kudos to them for their experimental spirit. Lots of interesting collaborations with other brewers. Bartenders were personable and knowledgable. I'll def be back sooner than later, and it will be interesting to see how the beer menu changes.

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Photo of UlfAndreas
4/5  rDev +1%

Always make sure to check if theres a Nats game. Unless you don't mind waiting 20 mins for a beer.

It is a cool and usually chill spot. Some of the bartenders work in the brewery as well so if lucky you can really nerd out. Super fun beer on tap usually. And always some casked stuff.
My only beef with this place is the no sampling. It is more like "pay for a half glass" that's your sample.

Non beer related: great food!

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Photo of Monteiro
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%

Absolute ton notch food and brews. Tons of great aged options. It is close to the Nats stadium and can get overrun with fans when the team is in town.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4/5  rDev +1%

Bluejacket was worth the long walk from the Capitol.

The beer here is superb! I was actually in awe. I had consulted many a folk about the beer in DC and Bluejacket didn't get much mention if any at all. But it deserves some props.

First, the sheer variety of beer styles they brew is impressive: kolsches, scwarzbiers, barleywines, Belgian Blondes, Belgian Light and Dark Strong Ales, sours, smoked sours, imperial stouts... I could keep going on and on.

Second, $2 pours mean one can try many a beer here and not go broke. And trust me, you really want to try a number of different beers here, as they are all so unique, tasty and noteworthy.

Third, I didn't have anything close to a bad beer, but rather, was astonished by the quality and flavor of what I tried.

I'm going to encourage all to try the Mexican Radio if it's available. A stout with chile, cinnamon and other goodies, this beer was excellent without being cloyingly sweet and/or gimmicky. I'd recommend the Black Pilsner (schwarzbier), the brown with coffee added (I had it on cask for even more flavor and body) and the Belgian blonde sour. I don't recall the names, but the tastes will never leave me.

As for the food, I only tried the porchetta sandwich but that monster of a concoction was phenomenal. Roasted pork with the fat still attached does horrible things for your waistline, but it makes your mouth quite happy. The accompanying salad was good to boot.

Sitting at the bar, I received great service, good conversation, and a few comped samples. Really, the whole experience here was outstanding.

This is a place I'd make a beeline for on future DC visits. An added bonus is that you can come here before a Caps game a block or two away.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.69/5  rDev -6.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

After a previous attempt that was incredibly crowded, I managed to get a chance to check this place out.

The space is really nice with very high ceilings, rafters, fairly dressed and good looking staff. It looks like a very good place to have a meal someday, but I did not try anything than the other simple bar food snacks which are also very much like Churchkey no surprise there (keep them tater tots rolling!). It does bring in a much different crowd with the stadium though, and it is insanely busy at times.

The beers here though are an interesting mixed bag, many seem a bit over the place, but there are some decent ones. One of the good things that this place offers are very inexpensive taster pours of their beers, compared to Churchkey. They only get as high as three dollars, with many in the two and 2.50 range, so that the gamble of trying something you don't like is not going to break your wallet. There is quite a bit of variety in styles also, which you can easily bounce around, or focus on.

Service is fairly decent, and slightly better than ok I would say. The staff are quite content to not chat the place up all the time, but do. Nobody has an attitude. However, once it gets busy, it's very difficult to get there attention, I am talking VERY hard. I would have stayed longer perhaps but it gets ridiculously crowded and the servers look like they can barely keep up.

It's certainly a place I would go to again, but it involves a lot of timing to go when it's not so busy to appreciate and focus on the beers. Time will tell if there is going to be improvement.

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Photo of daryk77
4.06/5  rDev +2.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Great addition to SE DC, great selection of high quality beers and food menu to compliment. The real only downside is if you go before or after a Nats game the place is going to be completely insane crowded, parking can be a bit of a challenge but not a deal breaker by any means. Will def go back.

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Photo of nmann08
3.68/5  rDev -7.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

When visiting Bluejacket, your experience will be directly correlated to how busy the bar/restaurant is that day. Are the Nationals playing? Yes, its going to be packed, since the Stadium is 500 feet away. Is it Saturday night? Yes, its going to be packed.

However, when it is normal busy, there still seems to be slower than normal service. Unless you grabbed a seat front row at the bar, there is usually a delay in everything (beers, food, the check).

The atmosphere is a very unique one for DC. Clean, industrial, simple look. It has a dining area and a bar area, which is split between the bar and a handful of first come first serve tables and booths. The wall facing the street is all windows, allowing plenty of day-time light in. At night, the room itself is dim, more intimate. Easily the most aesthetically pleasing brewpub I have visited.

They are constantly rotating their taps, something new going on all the time. Every beer on tap comes in a full size and 4oz sampler size. Also, regularly have 4-5 casks. Recently started bottling. Doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to it. They are bottling then selling to go at the bar only at this point.

Food is similar to what you find at the other restaurants (Birch & Barley, Churchkey), but is often too rich for me. Everything has an extra level, which sometimes is not needed. If you are looking for simple food, this is not the place. However, they have a wide range of unique flavors.

Parking isn't easy, but possible (forget about it during a Nationals game). As for value, the beer is competitively priced for DC, but arguably overpriced considering it is brewed on premise. Food prices are slightly above average, but all high quality ingredients.

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Photo of ipas-for-life
2.85/5  rDev -28%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3 | service: 1.5 | selection: 3.5

Went for the first time yesterday around 1pm on a sunday. I like the layout and if they improve their beers and service it would be a place I would frequent.

1. The service needs to get a lot better. It took me over 5 minutes to be greeted once seated. A total of 20-30 minutes before I had a beer in front of me. It was not even full when I got there so I can imagine if it is slammed it would be a big problem.

2. Was not impressed with the beers I tried. The figure 8 and Cashmere were ok but the alcohol was way to prevalent for me and I have been drinking imperial stouts almost every day this winter. I got fusels from both which is probably a problem with the brewing process not the recipe. The hazelnut imperial brown was a little better but one dimensional. The bird of prey was pretty good but with all of the good IPAs out it wasn't anything special. The 9 pound hammer on cask was pretty bad. If I owned a brewery I would not serve something of that quality in my brewery.

Overall I have wanted them to succeed since I heard they were opening. But they have a lot of work to do. My two suggestions would be to put out some solid beers first. Every beer does not have to have crazy ingredients added to it. Second get some good managers and servers. This is not Europe. Service should be efficient and quick. No way would I consider going here before the Nationals games this spring until they speed up their service a lot.

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Photo of yourefragile
2.92/5  rDev -26.3%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 1 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I notice that the only review (not just rate) of Bluejacket to date has been deleted. That review was negative. I will try to be positive I guess.

This is a lovely space in an "emerging" neighborhood. A lot of time and money has been spent in turning the dining room and bar into a space that will be familiar from other NRG venues like Churchkey and the Rusticos. Cool multi-level dining room and a consistently full bar with a few community high top tables and booths. Attentiveness of service is exceptional given the crowds in my experience.

Bar food menu is similar in scope and apparent quality to CK or Rustico, though WaPo just took a dump all over it. I'm not visiting here for food though, so onto the beer.

~25 taps, 5 casks. Philosophy seems to be throw a dart at the BJCP styles and make whatever hits. And add some carrrazy adjunct. The results so far have been generally on par with bad homebrew. Fortunately all beers are served in $2-$3 sample pours for ~4 ozs. No growler fills yet because... they choose not to (maybe they're still in license limbo but other DC brewpubs don't seem to have a problem)?

I don't know... I'll be rewriting this review in a few months time I expect because it seems like there are some severe growing pains occurring here.

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Bluejacket / Arsenal Restaurant in Washington, DC
89 out of 100 based on 20 ratings.