Off the beaten track in the Industrial section of Alexandria, PORT CITY BREWING COMPANY resides at a tan-bricked professional building. Opened January 2011 and visited in March 2012, this increasingly popular microbrewery’s tasting room was absolutely packed at 3 PM this Saturday. Hourly brew tours kept patrons busy when they weren’t sampling the four year-round ales (and one specialty beer).
Owner Bill Butcher and head brewer Jonathan Reeves craft amazingly consistent fare. Though tapped versions were sampled and reviewed herein, check the Beer Index for larger reviews of each bottled brew.
Fine Belgian-styled Port City Optimal Wit had a laid-back banana-clove serenity spread across subtle orange-peeled mildness and lemony Seltzer spritz to its honeyed wheat spine. Essential Pale Ale layered citra-hopped briskness atop vodka-tinged mandarin orange, lemon, lime and peach illusions.
Despite its mighty moniker, Monumental IPA was stylistically easygoing and approachable. Its floral-hopped pine resin cloaked apple-skinned apricot, nectar, pear and grapefruit dalliances.
Coffee-roasted Porter settled into a fine medium-bodied dark ale, seeping brown chocolate-y vanilla sweetness into dark-fruited dried fig, stewed prune and date nut breading.
Also available at the tasting station was the cyclical Tartan 80 Shilling Scottish Ale, a dewy midrange libation gathering brown chocolate, vanilla and caramel sweetness atop spice-hopped fig sugaring.
Each beer was more than up to snuff and deserved recommendation.