BDBS Goes to Port City Brewing Company

Black Dog Beer Shop goes to Port City Brewing

Port City Brewing's Tasing Room

Last week, Black Dog Beer Shop took a trip to Port City Brewing in Alexandria, VA. Port City is one of the most awarded breweries in Virginia taking home regional, national, and international awards. They tend to call things like they see them naming their beers things like, Porter for their porter, or German Pilsner for their German pilsner. Their style blends from traditional European to more traditional American style beers to include several variants of the IPA. I like the way the bar area is laid out. The main area is kind of cozy with a main bar and a smaller secondary bar. There’s a spiral staircase leading to the bathroom and other seating areas including a little spot under the stairs. Like most breweries in Northern Virginia, it’s located in an office park.

Beers by Port City Brewing Company

Port City Tidings

We didn’t go with the flights this time, instead opting for full-size beers. The one downside? We couldn’t try them all! That’s ok, we were still able to knock down some of their delicious beers. This time we started with the Tidings Ale, their Belgian Strong Golden Ale. It’s brewed with local Virginia wildflowers and wheat and spiced with coriander, cardamom, fresh ginger, and Grains of Paradise. It’s pretty excellent and great for the winter as the higher ABV warms you up. It also has a pretty festive label.

Next up is Ways & Means their Session IPA. After the higher ABV of the Tidings Ale, it was nice to come down to something more sessionable. Ways & Means is brewed with rye and Centennial and Citra hops. It was a nice refreshing IPA that doesn’t hit you over the head with its bitterness. Coming in at 55 IBUs, it has the lowest perceived bitterness of all their IPAs. The team then went to the opposite end of the spectrum, getting the Maniacal IPA which clocks in at 85 IBUs and over 8% ABV. It has a resinous sweetness with floral notes, making it more approachable than most Double IPAs.

a can of Port City Maniacal Double IPA

The Maniacal IPA – photo from Brewbound

More of their beers

I took home a 4-pack of their standard Optimal Wit. The Optimal Wit is brewed in the traditional Belgian style utilizing orange peel, coriander along with raw wheat and oats. Take a deep whiff and you can almost smell the first freshly cut lawn of spring. If you’re new to Port City, I suggest starting here. It’s one of their finest offerings. Their other? The Porter I just wrote about in My Favorite American Porters. Both represent the perfect standard for their style. The Optimal Wit and the Porter don’t deviate wildly trying to be different, they just do their style and they do it well.


the Port City brewing Company building

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to all the beers this time. I’m on the lookout for the German Pilsner and the Downright Pilsner, their Czech pilsner. Also on my list is the Colossal V Old Ale. One things for sure, their going to have to clear out some more wall space if they keep winning medals! If you’re in the area check them out if not, look for them in your local store.

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