Port City Brewing

Everyone seemed to be in a good mood at Port City Brewing — it was American Craft Beer Week, and the Virginia governor had just signed a law the day before allowing production breweries to sell pints in their taprooms starting July 1st.  Plus there was a food truck in front serving fancy grilled cheese sandwiches.  The guy working the taps was just about to leave for a Kill the Cask competition at Mad Fox Brewpub in Falls Church with six local breweries, including Port City, but as I’d just started my sampling session I wasn’t able to hitch a ride.  There was also the problem of finding my way back to Alexandria (where I was staying with friends), not having a car and all.  Oh well.  At Port City, you pay for a sampler and get the one little glass and a handful of tickets — hand over a ticket, get a sample in the glass, drink the sample, repeat until tickets are gone.  They didn’t have their Essential Pale Ale on tap that day, unfortunately.

Port City Brewing

One at a time samples at Port City Brewing — Alexandria, VA

    Rob’s Picks

  • Optimal Wit – 4.9% – Crisp and light.  Nice coriander flavor with subtle banana/clove and lemon notes.  Really refreshing and drinkable.
  • Tartan Ale – 5% – Spring seasonal.  Good strong maltiness with a dry edge.  Caramel undertones, but not particularly sweet.  Subtle hoppiness if you look for it.
  • Revival Stout – 5.5% – Limited edition oyster stout.  A bit of a briney start.  Fairly heavy, pretty smooth, and a good coffee/chocolate finish.
  • Porter – 7.2% – Dark and foamy on a summer night…  Smooth toasty malt start to coffee/dark chocolate finish.  Quite drinkable.
    The Rest

  • Monumental IPA – 6.3% – Slight floral aroma.  Malty and floral taste, with a bit of a caramel finish.  Not as hoppy as I’m used to — sort of a northwest pale ale.

At the end of the sampling session you get to keep the sampler glass, too.  I decided to buy a full-size glass, however, and didn’t want to fill my backpack with more glassware than I needed (and yes, it can definitely be argued that putting any amount of glassware in a backpack while traveling is more glassware than needed), so I left it for the next customer.  I suppose I could have given it to my friends as a thank you gift for putting me up, but I didn’t think of that at the time.  It would’ve been so thoughtful of me.

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