I’ve decided to take to doing vertical tastings of most or all of a brewery’s standard beer lineup. My first victim was Port City Brewing Company out of Alexandria, Virginia. Overall, the quality was good, but nothing was homerun. I wouldn’t go out of my way to find any of these, but if that’s all that was on tap I’d be pretty content. I’d give the overall selection somewhere around a C+ or a B-.

Essential Pale Ale – Not a bad pale entry. A little subtle for my tastes.

Monumental IPA – I didn’t care for this one at all. The up front bitterness overpowers most other flavors and the beer leaves you with a bad bitter finish for several minutes after a sip. West coast fans might enjoy this one.

Optimal Wit – It’s a wheat beer, so I mean come on, what do you want me to say? I will say that it’s actually not that bad. I can go for wits when they’re true to their German or Belgian roots, and this one hasn’t been completely Americanized yet.

Porter – What? No clever name? Just porter? Well the taste kind of demands it. Pretty much sums this beer up. It’s just a porter. Dark and roastier than most, but not a lot of strong flavor. Probably didn’t help that I drank a hoppy beer right before.

Tartan – The best of Port City’s bunch. Unfortunately also a seasonal. I liked this one because it was malty and only mildly sweet. It didn’t run away with itself and become all big and crazy like American beers tend to do.

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