A first look at @PortCityBrew Anniversary Week

Wow.  Four years already?  Port City has certainly had plenty to celebrate, and many of their legions of fans turned out last night for the first of many events for their anniversary week.  We shamelessly sacrificed our evening to check out the festivities, which included a release of COLOSSAL IV, their new Belgian Quad.


Although the release party was going on late into the night, I was in there moments after the pineapple graced the outdoor sign.  Go figure, it’s 3:02 and I’m already clinging to the last seat!  By 3:15 the tasting room hit standing room capacity, though thankfully an office party moved into the brewing floor’s biergarten to add some breathing room.  Clutching my roundtop as if it were precious to me, I built a list of items to check out:  the new IV, the special release growlers, the special treat from Chef Geoff, and of course, a Friday Night Flight!


Atmosphere:  As I tried to impart, stuffed.  I was a little surprised more tables weren’t arranged for the occasion, but I did like the move to bench-style hightops over the aging roundtops.  The crowd appeared to be a mix of regulars and enthusiasts, with 2/3 of the early revelers going for COLOSSAL IV, with late arrivers showcasing the Ways and Means or COLOSSAL TWO.  Around 7:15 the music started, and while I had to depart Ben related that a solid mix of 90s songs were to be had.


COLOSSAL IV:  I’ll spare most details, except to say it was good enough to earn a full review.  Very assertive flavors without, thankfully, an overbearing tartness carried the day.  Gorgeous color!  Best sipped slowly and in moderation, but popular enough they were soon running low on the commemorative glass!


Now, about that growler…  very bold and bright.  Featuring Port City’s new logo style, it was even made in VA by Shine Craft Vessel Co.  Although it appears smaller, it holds the same standard 64 oz.  Many “late” arriving people stopped to ogle and ask about it, so props to PCBC on the design.  Out of a limited run of 100, I snagged #76.




Food:  Rocklands made its pit stop early on, and in keeping with the night’s theme, the special Chef Geoff marshmallows made an appearance at 4pm (and every 2 hours or so after that).  It’s a very heavy puff that has some light, almost toffee notes which speak to the COLOSSAL TWO well.  Infused with their Porter, those elements stand out most in the chocolate, which pairs nicely with the salty crunch of the pretzel.  The mallow itself wins of the three main ingredients.

Let me pause a second to gush about the COLOSSAL TWO some more, even though I reviewed it over the summer.  After the bold IV, I went back to what’s still my favorite of the anniversary releases.  Smoke up front, a rauchbier-like bacon in the body, and a chocolate finish.  another one best in moderation, but it’s nice to have some of the old friends back in the lineup!


The Biergarten:  Cheekily imposed over the old brewery tour sitting area, the smell of beer pervades in the best way.  The limited taps meant only the most popular beers were served in there, but I’d love to see them expand the concept into something more permanent…not to say I didn’t glean some details I’m saving for another post…


Overall I’d say Port City had a successful first night.  The crew and staff were so hectic they could barely stop and chat, but I’ll have some comments to pass along as we check in with them over the next week.  I’ll also have my flight and COLOSSAL IV reviews up soon!

3 thoughts on “A first look at @PortCityBrew Anniversary Week

  1. Joe

    This review is embarrassing. “overbearing tartness”?? I don’t think we drank the same beer. Also I got the impression the author tried to use words they don’t understand the meaning of. Overbearing is negative not good. Cheekily makes no sense there in that sentence. You can’t have a permanent bar in the brewery section because it’s you know a brewery. Space is at a premium but you’re surprised there weren’t more tables. This whole review couldn’t have been more poorly thought out.

    1. Alex Hannagan

      Hi there, Joe. Actually, thank you for pointing out my error in not correctly typing out “without an overbearing tartness.” I’ve fixed that, and those who were responsible for the editing have been sacked.

      And this is not a review but rather notes I jotted down while attending the event – due to a weird formatting issue, you can even see my poor copy/paste job as the font changes. So if you think this is poorly thought out – you’re right! Heck, you should see the hastily typed, scatterbrained thoughts I saved as an e-mail draft as I was walking around the event, chatting with guests and staff, and sipping on beer.

      I freely admit to a lot of asinine (and frequently, sophomoric) ramblings throughout the 49 meandering articles I’ve written at Hamilton’s invitation. Idiocy tends to happen when the products you write about have depressive and intoxicating properties leading to delusions of grandeur. But the liver is evil and must be punished! Onwards!

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