Port City Brewing Company’s Ales

by Jacob

Eating and drinking local products has become popular in recent years. In an effort to support some of our local producers, I recently sampled three beers from Port City Brewing Company, which is located in Alexandria, Virginia. Founded in 2011, Port City strives to “…be a reliable and innovative regional brewer of top quality beers that are delicious and well balanced, made from the finest ingredients available, and which celebrate their raw materials,” and currently makes four beers, a pale ale, a wit, an IPA, and a porter. Below are my reviews of all but the porter, which I have not yet tried.

Optimal Wit (5%) – Typical of many Belgian style white ales (which it is), the Optimal Wit is a cloudy golden color in the glass, has lemon notes on the nose, and tastes of banana and light orange. It is an effervescent beer that would be ideal to drink on a hot summer day (Rating ****).

Essential Pale Ale (5.5%) – Golden and almost pilsner looking in the glass, the Essential Pale Ale has an apricot and grain (hops) nose with mild hops and a slightly bitter and dry finish (Rating ****)

Monumental IPA (6.3%) – The Monumental IPA looks unfiltered and golden in the glass and has a hoppy, apricot and pit fruit nose. This is a very smooth beer that is not overhopped on first sip. Instead, the hops build on you and provide a nice and hoppy and dry finish. This was my favorite of the lot! (Rating ****1/2).

More information on Port City Brewing Company and how to visit it are available at: http://www.portcitybrewing.com


Goose Island Brewery Demolition Ale

by Jacob

In honor of the DC earthquake on August 23, 2011, and since we thankfully suffered no damage to our home as a result, I decided to open a bottle of Goose Island’s Demolition Ale tonight.  Goose Island, which is based in Chicago, made this ale in honor of “the brave souls who kept our brewpub open in the early 90’s while wrecking balls tore down the mall around us.”

Demolition Ale is a Belgian Style Gold Ale sold in a 1 pint, 6 fluid oz (650 ml) bottle.

In the glass the beer was a light wheat color and is reminiscent of a heffewisen and has a fruity nose.  This is an easy to drink beer with flavors of lemon, banana, and spice.  It would be a good match with everything from BBQ to a more delcate fish dish. 7.2% alcohol, $5.99 retail (Rating ****).


Flying Fish Brewery Exit 4 American Trippel

by Jacob

Recently, I had the opportunity to try the beer that recently won the Washington Post’s Beer Madness competition. Made by Flying Fish Brewery in New Jersey, the Exit 4 American Trippel is a bottle conditioned ale that weighs in at a hefty 9.5% alcohol. Drinking the ale, however, you would never know it had that much alcohol (unless you had many of them I suppose).  It is easy drinking and definitely not a hop-bomb.

A cloudy golden-color in the class, it has a nose of hops with citrus and a hint of banana.  On first sip, the citrus (especially orange flavor) comes through in a pleasing balance with the hops.  By its finish, the Exit 4 has almost no hops aftertaste and has a very smooth and balanced finish.

Served in a 12 ounce bottle, it drinks like a beer with less alcohol will providing the complexity normally associated with beers served in larger format containers (i.e., champagne bottles, growlers, pints, etc…).  (Rating *****)


Anderson Valley Brewing Company Boont Amber Ale

by Jacob

Recently, I had the opportunity to try a beer from California that I was previously unfamiliar with. While shopping at Gilly’s Craft Beer and Fine Wine in Rockville (MD), I saw a can of Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s Boont Amber Ale sitting by itself in their refrigerator case. Premium canned beer fascinates me. The craft beer industry continues to produce more premium canned beer and they work hard to refute the stigma associated with cans (i.e., cheap beer).

The Boont Amber Ale is an easy drinking beer.  A cloudy amber color in the glass and appeared to be unfiltered (i.e., it was not crystal clear).  Malty with caramel flavors, the beer had a slight hoppy taste on the back of the palate.  (Rating ****)

Editor’s Note: Esquire also has written well of this beer, thus proving the veraciy of the Famous Jacob’s assessment.

See if our retailer can sell you some by clicking here.


Leinenkugel Fireside Nut Brown Ale

Source: Leinie.com

Just the other day, we ran a super positive review of Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout.

We were so excited at the quality that we decided to snatch up a six-pack of Leinie’s nut brown ale when we hit the grocery store yesterday.

Gadzooks, what an utter disappointment.  This may be the worst nut brown ale we have ever tasted. It is thin, almost watery, and the malt flavors are very weak.  The hops are hard to detect, and one’s left with little more than an unpleasant roasted flavor.  We struggled to finish just one 12 ounce bottle.

Blech—that was $9 down the drain.  Fat chance that we’ll drop any cash to try another Leinie brew.  (Rating **)