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The Birth Of Nit Wit

Nine years ago I hired an assistant brewer named Melissa Phillips here at BJ’s Brewery in Chandler. She was a very astute and learned at a rapid pace. As an avid home brewer, Melissa was always ready to create her own recipes once we felt comfortable with her abilities. She really wanted to add a Belgian Witbier to our lineup, which was a beer style that we had been considering as a summer seasonal.  When we gave her the go ahead, Melissa gave it her all. The first batch was really good but after tasting it together we agreed that it needed some fine-tuning to be true to the traditional Witbier style.  We made some adjustments and re-brewed it.  We named the beer Nit Wit after her boss (me).  This second batch was entered into the 2004 Great American Beer Festival and was awarded a Gold Medal in Belgian-style Wheat Beers! Winning any medal at GABF is difficult enough.  For a rookie brewer to earn a Gold Medal is a rare accomplishment.

Shortly after GABF that year Melissa moved on to an opportunity at the Four Peaks Brewery up the road and has been excelling there ever since.  And her award winning Nit Wit recipe has continued to excel at winning medals for BJ’s.  In fact, Nit Wit has been awarded more GABF and World Beer Cup medals than any other BJ’s beer.

One reason I am reminded of this story is because of this summer's release of Nit Wit. The other reason is that this month is my 7 year anniversary with my lovely wife Melissa whom I started dating a shortly after she left BJ’s. She is my inspiration for brewing beer with excellence and precision using the highest quality ingredients. This year’s Nit Wit is now pouring and I hope you will tip one back for my lovely wife Melissa who inspired this beer and inspires me to brew it every year.


Derek “Doc” Osborne


Next: BJ's Abbey Normal® - The First Beer in the BJ's Seaonal 2014 Series

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