Alexandria City, located in Virginia just a few miles downriver of Washington, D.C., at one time was a very important port. As generations have come and gone, our waterfront has made many changes. It is now largely made up of public parks and a small marina off the Torpedo factory. Even some of the last of the warehouses on the waterfront is out of use and plans are currently in motion for renewal of life for that piece of land to be returned to the community and local commerce.
What does this have to do with a brewery one might ask, in this case, it’s name. In 2011 Port City Brewery opened it’s doors, began pouring beer, and quickly became a regular site on every restaurants tap and in all beer fridges around town! By no means is Port City Alexandria’s first brewery. In the late 1860’s Alexandria saw the birth of what became one of the largest brewery in the southern part of the United States, Robert Portner Brewing Company, and was the city’s largest employer until going out of business due to the prohibition.
I will admit it’s hard pressed not to find decent beer in every restaurant in town. We tend to have good taste in this City and prefer our craft beer. I am so thrilled that a local brewery has arrived and makes a quality product. They carry 5 flavors year round a Pilsner, Pale Ale, IPA, Wit, and a Porter and numerous seasonal and limited beers including Stouts and Belgian Blondes. My favorite two, not surprising if one knows my beer preference are two of the seasonal’s the Scottish Ale and Oktoberfest.
Recently Port City launched their Revival Oyster Stout. In the last 15 minutes of the boil process they add around 1500 oysters, shell’s and all. The Revival Stout will only be available on draft and only at Port City’s Tasting Room and at selected oyster houses, restaurants and bars throughout the local region. Additionally, five percent of the sales of Revival Stout will be donated to the Oyster Recovery Partnership to support their efforts to revive the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.
The Brewery is located in a small office park a few miles up the road from where I live. One knows when they are open (as they have limited hours Wed-Sun) by the friendly pineapple this sits on the sign out front. Why a pineapple you ask? The pineapple symbolizes hospitality, which eventually spread to Europe and Colonial America. Since pineapples are not a local fruit to these locations, they are very synonymous with ship captains as they would place pineapples on their fence post upon returning home from a long voyage.
Often live music can be heard on Sunday afternoons and usually there is a ball game of some sort on their TV. But Port City doesn’t just offer brew tours and sell taster, pints, and growlers. Most recently they have teamed up with Sniffing Butt Dog Bone Brewery. These are organic beer grain based treats (made from Port City’s spent beer grains) include no hops and are alcohol free. Flavors are name creatively such as Pug Porter and India Puppy Ale.
All of the thoughts and opinions are my own.