It’s safe to say that lots of guys are fascinated by beer.
But enjoying the taste of it, playing games with it and basking in the social currency that comes from knowing about obscure bottles of it are just the beginning: More and more, guys want to know how the stuff is made (and that’s if they aren’t already attempting to brew their own at home).
That’s why a trip to Alexandria’s brand-new Port City Brewing Co. is not just a great guys’-day-out activity, but an informative (and thirst-quenching) one as well.
Port City owner Bill Butcher leads tours of the facility, inside a nondescript warehouse just west of Old Town, every Saturday at 12:30, 2 and 4 p.m. For $5, you’ll see where Port City’s four flagship brews — the Belgian-style Optimal Wit, the crisp Monumental I.P.A., the chocolatey Porter and the well-rounded Essential Pale Ale — are born, from the moment the ingredients are added to one of the 60-barrel stainless-steel fermentation tanks through the bottling and kegging process.
But let’s be honest: The real point of a brewery tour is to sample the goods, so Butcher keeps the informational portion of the tour to about 20 minutes. From there, you’re free to linger in the tasting room, where you can cash in your four tasting tickets to sample each of the beers in a tasting glass that’s yours to keep.
It’s also an ideal setting to do some mingling, which brings us back to our original point about males and beer: We’re not alone, gentlemen. The male/female ratio on a recent tour was tilted heavily toward the female, so if you’re looking to hit it off with a fellow hop-head, Port City should be on your radar.
-- Alex Baldinger (March 17, 2011)