Head Brewer, Megan Parisi, Leaves Bluejacket Brewery

300 Tingey Street, SE

Washington Post reports:

“Megan Parisi, the veteran brewer who was hired at Bluejacket with considerable fanfare in 2012, has parted ways with the brewery and restaurant less than three months after the operation opened near the Navy Yard. Her last day was Friday, Jan. 17.”

Ed. Note: Earlier this month we looked at a review of the Arsenal restaurant in the Bluejacket Brewery.

47 Comment

  • Well, I sure am curious. Guessing she told off someone high-up in the Neighborhood Restaurant Group and got canned as a result?

  • Alarming… does justinbc have any more information?

    • I hope so. He is always the most informed person to comment popville and I wait on pins and needles to see what he says.

      • He’s bragged about knowing the Bluejacket owners on several occasions so he must know what’s up.

        • Unfortunately his roofing saga might be taking precedence over brewery gossip right now.

        • justinbc

          False. Ownership and management/employees are two entirely separate parties. I do not know the former, but I’m friends with quite a bit of the latter. With regards to the topic, NRG is a top quality organization in this arena and this is the type of information that would only be shared within a small circle. They don’t spill their dirty laundry openly, and I would be inclined to agree with their statement that it was an amicable split. The new guy they’ve tapped as Megan’s replacement has a nice resume, so I’m pretty excited to see what’s new down the pipeline.

      • +1 Me too!

      • +1,000,000,000,000,000

        • I feel good knowing that I’m not the only one who is annoyed with this kid. He is far too confident about many things of which he knows little. I’ve seen him talk with authority about the Hill (my territory), and I just shake my head sometimes.

          • justinbc

            Please, do tell. It’s my “territory” as well, so if you would care to enlighten me I would be greatly appreciative.

          • @Justinbc ignore the trolls here. For every one of these anonymous cowards who make smart ass remarks there are a dozen of us who appreciate your commentary and suggestions.

          • He’s annoying, I agree, but also entertaining, and sometimes he has valuable insights.

          • justinbc

            @Anon 4:26, don’t worry, I’m used to ad hominem cowardice, I’ve been using teh interwebs for a very long time. If I didn’t enjoy being here, I wouldn’t be. And I come to the happy hours to give people plenty of room to air their grievances if they so choose (fortunately most people who actually show up are very nice and enjoy fine ales).

  • Very happy to hear this. Beer wasn’t up to snuff.

    • Then you shouldn’t be happy to hear this. If you connect the dots from various sources and statements made on both sides it seems likely that her brewing philosophy did not exactly match the “vision” coming out of NRG. Either that or she was sold on one vision and told to execute something very different, leading to them parting ways. Either way, DC is losing a VERY talented brewer. I don’t think it follows that the beers at BlueJacket will necessarily take a turn for the better.

      • Don’t get so upset. All I’m saying is that the beer wasn’t good and they needed to change something.

        • I wasn’t upset at all, just pointing out that your statement “beer was not up to snuff” and “Very happy to hear this” do not follow logically. I think the new guy they have tapped will match much more closely to the vision that NRG was trying to achieve. I guess we’ll find out soon if that vision was flawed to begin with.

          With regards to Megan staying in DC, this is the quote:

          “Her husband took a job recently that allows him to work remotely, so Parisi is not tied to brewing gigs in the D.C. area only. Not that she’s looking to flee the local market.

          “I really love the brewing community here,” she says. “The moment I arrived here I couldn’t have felt a warmer welcome.””

          Take that for what it’s worth, but it the same thing that an athlete will say about the town he currently plays in, right before signing a big contract with another team 😉

      • justinbc

        She never stated she was leaving DC, in fact just the opposite.

    • Of the 9 beers I tasted, most were bad, several tasted like prototypes, one was okay, and one (Forbidden Planet) tasted bad enough that no one at our table (consisting of several different levels of beer enthusiasts and one Miller Lite fan) wanted it.

      If conflicting visions were the cause of her departure, I wish her well. If these beers were all her own creations, I hope Bluejacket can get some better beers in there.

  • Or left of her own accord because she didn’t like the way things were being run? Maybe she’s planning on starting her own brewery? I mean, the possibilities are endless. Let’s not assume a woman mouthed off and got fired for it.

    • Nobody implied that gender had anything to do with it until you piped in. Just saying…

      • Actually I think you were the first to imply it. I don’t see that in the comment above.

      • haha if you think the very first comment on this assuming that she left because she mouthed off to someone and got canned has nothing at all to do with negative gender stereotypes you’re living in a dream world

        • haha you’re reading way too much into things

        • It is very odd that you would assume that comment had anything to do with gender stereotypes. It is thinking like this that holds groups back. And, yes, I am a woman, but one without a chip on my shoulder.

        • You’re definitely reading too much into the first comment (which I posted). I guess I should have used the word “brewer” instead of using a pronoun to make sure I didn’t intend to make a gendered statement.

        • For what it’s worth, I agree with you.

  • Word on the street is that Megan and the “Beer Director” were butting heads on some issues. Apparently she wasn’t a fan of rolling out 20 beers to open a new brewery. She may have wanted to take a more measured and conservative approach to putting out refined beers that met her standards for quality. I could see how that mentality wouldn’t match NRG’s model of open with 20 beers and national distribution immediately! What do I know? I am just a POPville poster hiding behind an “Anonymous” moniker.

    • justinbc

      FWIW I thought she did a hell of a job putting out 20 scratch beers to open up a place, whether she wanted to or not. Many of them were styles you would never see the other DC breweries attempting (with the one exception of Right Proper now that they’re open, but that’s a much smaller scale to do so).

    • Well I’m glad to hear that it wasn’t the brewer’s idea to start off with 20 beers.

    • no national distribution plans in the works, bro

    • ^^This. Engert should’ve gone off and spent more time buying new clothes for his ridiculous wardrobe so the head brewer could be left to do her thing. At least that’s the version I’ve heard.

      • I dunno what happened, but to be fair to Greg, he’s been with NRG a lot longer than she has, and this brewery has been in the planning phases for a long time. It’s his show, and it’s his prerogative to hire people who agree with his vision, whatever that may be.

      • Whatever, the guy’s the best beer director in the city, and ChurchKey is still the best beer bar I’ve been to in the world.

        • Try the Ale & the Witch in St. Petersburg, FL. Really a pleasant surprise. That side of Florida knows it’s beer.

        • Knowing how to curate a selection of high-end beers for a bar is one thing. Managing 20+ exotic in-house brews is quite a different task. Just because he’s brilliant with one, doesn’t mean he knows what he’s doing with the other.

  • Based on Sietsema’s review, and what I’ve heard from friends who have visited, replacing the chef would have been a better move.

  • My bet is this is a story of competing visions for the nature and direction of the brewery. She was there for pert near two years, she successfully launched the joint, the two visions created tension, and eventually the tension gave way to rupture. Could be amicable or acrimonious. I doubt (and hope) the split wasn’t as petty as retribution for pissing off management. If I was in her shoes I sure as heck would not want to make doughnut and pastry beers at the behest of management.

  • Whatever the reasons for this, I hope it results in decent beer one way or another. Right now it’s just a waste of prime real estate.

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