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DC – Bluejacket, Orchids, and the White House

I awoke refreshed, sort of, as refreshed as 6 hours of sleep can make you feel. I knew I had work to do, but those damn lads from Lexington were still around, so we met up at their hotel. If I was going to stay one more day and night, I needed to vacate my residence. No one told me I had over stayed my welcome, but when you ask someone if you can stay the night and end up staying three, some people (myself included) feel obligated to move on. I packed the Trucker and rode to a brand new Marriott, where I walked the fully loaded bike up to the elevator and then to the 12th floor. People give you some odd looks when you do this, but it wasn’t my first time, and, like all things in life, if you do it with confidence, it usually works.

We left for Bluejacket, again. They had never been there, and I had a record to keep (three days in DC, three trips to Bluejacket and Churchkey). A quick Metro ride and brisk walk and we arrived, just in time for all the Nationals’ fans to arrive. It was crowded on a Wednesday at noon. Finally finding a table, we ordered beers and snacks. The group of men next to us appeared to have been going pretty hard already, and quickly integrated us into their group. Random question: when was the last time you heard anyone yell “social!” at a bar (outside of playing drinking games like Asshole). These dudes kept doing it, but the best part was one of the guys toasts. All were dirty, hilarious, and inappropriate for certain audiences. Jealous of their skills, DH and I googled several good toasts and tried to memorize them. I can memorize a lot of stupid stuff, but struggle to memorize toasts. Now I’ve got another goal for this trip.

Eventually the bar started to clear out for the ball game, and we were able to get a tour of Bluejacket’s facility. They have a coolship. Seriously, there is a coolship with shutters opening to the outside and cedar planks above it. No wort has been fermented in it yet, but soon. The brewery was a wondrous playground of stainless, kept clean by volunteers. There is a yeast lab, and two areas for barrel storage. And the walk-in, it is so sexy and full of kegged beer. The draft components are extremely well thought out and executed. I had all too much fun nerding out in there.

We left Bluejacket and the Boys went about sorting out yesterdays drama. As we drove past the national botanical gardens, I relieved myself of their company in favor of the company of plants. Far and away the coolest collection is the Orchid room. I love orchids and all their grandiose diversity. I sat in that room for thirty minutes. From the botanical gardens I headed for the Lincoln Memorial. I was going to go to the Natural History Museum but remembered I had a pocket knife, and wouldn’t be allowed in. I did a quick detour to the White House and then straight to the Memorial only to find it swarming with the youth of America. Too damn many kids for me. I got a cab, which ended up being a dumb idea. I could have/should have walked to the Metro, but I wanted to get there faster. The cab was way slow with so much congested traffic downtown. Eventually I got out and walked the remaining mile to Churchkey, only to arrive right when the lads were leaving. They had an important delegate meeting or some fancy thing like that. But they had found another Kentuckian, one Adam Watson Esq from Against the Grain. They left me to my own devices, which means I had several beers alone before I befriended the guys from Foothills, Ithaca, and Terrapin.

There was another event at Churchkey, this time North (Ithaca and Allagash) vs South (Terrapin and Foothills). After meeting several great people, I realized I was starving. The entire place was beginning to fill up and be uncomfortably crowded, so I started to walk back to the hotel. On the way I found a Philly Cheese shop that made their sandwiches on Amorosa bread, a company my mom’s close friend’s family owns. I had to have one and it was yummy. Certainly not health food but definitely filling.
Back in the hotel, the trio of Kentucky brewers were eating cheese, bread and meat while consuming beers. Easily the best part of it all was when I discovered one of the guys, who shall not be named directly but uses his last name as an initial he is called by, had purchased parmigiano reggiano and was trying to eat it like it was a slicing cheese. Keeping it classy. We drink everything available and passed out for a couple of hours, only to be woken up by two more Country Boys who were in for SAVOR. I was done with DC. It had been fun but I needed to leave before I spent even more money.

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