Dock for a Day at Port City Brewing

Dock for a Day at Port City Brewing
Port City Brewing Company
3950 Wheeler Avenue | Alexandria, VA 22304
(703) 797-2739

Voted Best Local Brewery in 2015 by the readers of Washington City Paper, Port City Brewing Company was started in January 2011 in Alexandria, Virginia. Founded by Bill Butcher, Port City is located just outside Washington, DC and 2.5 miles west of Old Town Alexandria.

The brewing history of Alexandria goes back to 1866 when the Robert Portner Brewing Company opened and operated for almost 50 years in the historic port city. It became the largest brewery in the southern United States and Alexandria’s largest employer.


Port City Brewing Company looks to revive and continue the brewing history, bring more locally produced craft beer to the DC and mid-Atlantic market.

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Head brewer Jonathan Reeves brews up a variety of styles, which can be enjoyed on site. The beers on tap during our visit included…

  • Optimal Wit – 5.0% ABV crisp, citrusy Belgian style wheat ale.
  • Essential Pale Ale – 5.5% ABV pale ale with fruity aromas, mild hoppiness, and a clean finish.
  • Maniacal IPA – 8.5% ABV citrusy and piney double IPA.
  • Port City Porter – 7.2% ABV porter with notes of roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate.
  • Tartan Ale – 5.5% ABV Scottish ale with fruity accents and a roast caramel malt flavor.
  • Monumental IPA – 6.3% ABV well-balanced English style IPA.
  • Long Black Veil – 6.8% black IPA with citrus and floral aromas and an aggressive hop flavor.


I purchased a $10 tasting, which included 6 tickets for 6 beers. The tickets can be used during one visit, or saved for future visits. I enjoyed sipping on the well-balanced, refreshing brews as we sat at a picnic table in the brewing area.

Despite being open for only 4 years, Port City has already won several awards, including 4 medals at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival. Optimal Wit took gold in the Belgian style wheat ale category, Oktoberfest took silver in the Vienna style lager category, and both Colossal One and Colossal Two secured bronze medals.


If you plan to visit, Port City is open Monday through Thursday 4 to 9 PM, Friday 3 to 10 PM, Saturday noon to 9 PM and Sunday noon to 6 PM.  The tasting room is open daily for tasters, flights, prints, growlers, six packs, cases and kegs to go. Brewery tours are offered Thursday through Sunday. Tours are limited to 30 people and  cost $10 (includes 6 tasters of beer). Reservations are suggested.

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