Brewery | Port City Brewing Company | Alexandria, Virginia


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.





Visited two worthwhile brewpubs in these northeast Virginia-based Washington DC suburbs post-X-mas ‘04. Firstly, historic Alexandria’s quaint downtown section boasted FOUNDERS RESTAURANT & BREWING, with its beautiful turn-of-the-century ‘Old Town’ murals, wooden interior, modest loft area, and generous cuisine (great burgers and barbecue nachos).

Though the pub lost its license and operations ceased, December ’05, established brewer Bill Madden’s front-windowed copper kettles supplied admirably varied brews and non-alcoholic honeyed sugar maple bark-bitten Root Beer. Politely acidic orange-dried lemon-tart Dick’s Kolsch and Belgian-styled berry-soured plantain-tangerine-nectar-backed Raspberry Blonde suited lightweights. Bitter-hopped citric-fizzed American Pale Ale, buttery caramel-malted chocolate-draped Scotch Ale, snazzy pumpkin pie-spiced blueberry-embittered Punkin Ale, and creamy cappuccino-milked nut-tinged Stout satiated heartier thirsts.

Though Founders is gone, nearby Arlington’s Capitol City Brewery, located in Shirlington Village,  continued to thrive til 2018.

Check out Alexandria’s Total Wine & More for worthy microbrew selection.