I know everyone has been waiting for this moment just as much as I have. At noon SAVOR beer week kicks off at Policy with crabs.
The beer selection will be great with local pints all being only $5. DC Brau, Port City, Flying Dog, Heavy Seas and Dogfish Head will all be available and several cask offerings will be offered for the same low price.
If the sublime beer selection is not enough to entice you, the food specials should rope you in immediately. For only $18 you get three whole crabs along with your choice of three soft shell crabs or two crab cakes. Oh and did I mention you also get unlimited sides?
I’ll be at this event for many reasons. This will be the beginning of an amazing week with quality food and of course tasty beer. Once I heard that there might be barrel aged Gonzo from Flying Dog I knew this would be the perfect way to celebrate Memorial Day.
Yes, a couple of weeks ago, a few of us went down to Port City to check out the facilities and all their beers. On that trip, I purchased a growler of their IPA (One that I find to be fantastic with a great balance of hops and malts. Thankfully Port City has gone for taste and finesse over joining in the hop dick measuring contest that is as annoying as Gillette and Schick trying to out blade each other’s razors). This time, I was taking a fellow Texas Longhorn grad down there along with Tonzi’s and Pyzocha’s growlers. Since they wanted the IPA and Wit, I decided to go with the other favorite from the first trip, the Essential Pale Ale. While I still think the IPA is a more meticulously made beer, the Essential Pale Ale is good in its own right, especially when compared to the overly hopped DC Brau Public Ale.*
I poured the reviewed pint two days after it was put into the growler. It pours a lovely gold-orange color with a white head. Currently, there is very little carbonation but that’s due to the age in growler. The beer has a nice floral sweet smell to it, and the sweetness comes through on the taste. You don’t get a lot of bitterness from this pale ale. The body is what one would expect (light-average) and it finishes nice and cleanly.
I’ll still first look for the Monumental IPA (seriously, I think it’s my favorite IPA out there), but I won’t be disappointed with the Essential Pale Ale.
* Hats off to them for opening up a brewery in DC and being at the forefront of the District’s market, but I just haven’t been really impressed by their beer. That said, be sure to try the DC Brau Public Ale, especially if you like hops, because I’ve heard people rave about it. It just proves everyone has different tastes. I love Shiner Bock, my father’s beer was Miller Lite, and his father drank only Pearl — to each their own.
A few of us reviewers and some friends visited the Port City Brewing Company’s facilities in Alexandria the weekend before last. It was a brief tour and we were provided with five five oz. samples for five dollars. The brewery has their tasting and tour schedules available on their website. You can take a virtual tour here: http://www.portcitybrewing.com/about/brewery-tour (if you’re afraid of leaving your home). However, with the in-person tour you get to taste the IPA before it fully matures, and you can ask the tour guide some in-depth questions about their brewing process and future plans. The pineapple that sits atop their entrance sign is a symbol of welcoming that mariners used to indicate they were receiving visitors. I was the designated driver, so I didn’t partake too much in the sampling. I liked the Monumental IPA the best. Freshness of the beer aside, the Essential Pale ale and wit were good, but not exceptional. A good way to kill a few hours on a Saturday before your evening revelry. Pick up a reasonably priced growler of brew and some Port City swag while your there.
X’s and Shintern’s take on the beer and tour are below.
The American Porter pours out a very dark brown, almost black colour with no real head. The nose carries hints of cherries, other dried berries, and a faint hint of chocolate. The beer has a good smooth carbonation that makes it go down really well. It starts off with some basic maltiness, however that gives way to a nice cherry/chocolate sweetness. It finishes a little bitter on the tongue, but doesn’t linger much.
Overall, this wasn’t a stellar beer, but it was an enjoyable, mild porter that I certainly wouldn’t mind having again.