Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company expands their Tasting Room due to popular demand.
UPDATE: Port City has post-poned their scheduled Port City Pint Party, due to power outages from the weekend storm. We will update this story with the rescheduled date as soon as it is confirmed.
By Brittney Dunkins
Just over a year ago, while many businesses were scaling back and cutting costs, the doors to Port City Brewing Company opened in Alexandria,Va. bringing the increasingly popular craft-beer culture to the small-business savvy area. Now, Port City is expanding — three years ahead of schedule.
“It came on quite suddenly,” says co-founder Bill Butcher. “The plan was to expand at the end of year three, but the way things were trending, we decided to pull the trigger.”
The Port City Pint Party, date to be determined, will mark the grand re-opening of the Tasting Room. The space will now have two tasting stations, including an express growler filling station, to accommodate the weekend crowds that reach up to 80 people. Its popularity is owed to the sale of growlers, portable containers that customers can purchase and fill with beer brewed on site.
Though growlers have long been a part of brewing culture, they were a novelty to many Alexandria residents who visited Port City. A fact that Butcher chalked up to Washington’s lack of microbreweries.
“For a while, D.C. was the only metropolitan area in the country without a microbrewery,” says Butcher. “We’ve had a great response to the growlers and the expansion will let us give people a more personal experience.”
Along with additional space, educational guided tours of the facility by the staff will be expanded to noon to 8 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. With more tours on the horizon, Port City is also planning to add at least three more people to their staff of nine, according to Butcher.
Try to snag a space on the tour during the grand opening party, that is if you can pull yourself away from your pint of their summer seasonal Downright Pilsner or the grilled cheese delights from local food truck, The Cheese Peak.
Though you should stop in to experience this rising hometown hot-spot, you can also find Port City suds in 250 restaurants and 75 retailers in the DMV and North Carolina. Though it stands to reason that pretty soon this local brewer’s bottles will be on shelves in plenty more states, Butcher isn’t rushing the process.
“We will always be a mid-Atlantic brewery,” says Butcher. “We are just listening to our customers and giving them what they want.”
Date: TBD Due to power outages from the storm
What: Port City Pint Party
When: 6 p.m.
Where: 3950 Wheeler Ave. Alexandria Va.
Cost: Entry is free