Tavour Delivers – Port City Brewing from Alexandria Virginia
I have a really hard time forcing myself to try new beers. I can’t do random. As a result, I appreciate it when someone with the same beer passion as me decides what I will drink. The selections, no matter how carefully thought out, are from my perspective – random. The folks at Tavour did just that. Normally their service delivers beer that a customer selects over the course of a month. Once chosen, the beer arrives to your front door. That’s cool but it doesn’t help me break my rut of choosing the same beers all of the time, so I asked them to send me anything as long as it was not from my home state of Michigan. No hate mail, I do love Michigan beers!
I had a long day driving through Indiana and Ohio on a business trip. Crazy snow storms and my company pool car had no tread (thanks boss). I opened the front door of my house dropped my luggage on the floor and sitting right in front of me was a package from Tavour. I opened it immediately and discovered 3 beers from Port City Brewing. I lived in Virginia for a couple years before I had a wife and kids. This was well before the term “craft beer” had even been coined. No surprise then that this brewery was completely new to me. This was going to be fun. I chilled the beers “Michigan Style” and tried them all over the span of a weekend.
Port City Porter
I took this beer to a buddy’s house one Friday night. There were four of us and our palettes were fresh – this was the night’s first beer. Four sample glasses were poured and then as if on que everybody had their noses in their glasses. Hey boys, this isn’t wine! The color was rich and just begged for further inspection. This is a rich flavorful porter masterfully done without being over-powering. One of the guys called it the perfect “house beer”. I think that sums it up. I’d buy a case of this and would be confident that it would appeal to craft beer newbies and elitists alike.
I knew I was in for a treat when I could smell the hops before I finished pouring it. I’ve never had this happen to me before and I’ve had x,000 IPAs. The bottle says it has only 56 IBUs but it seems more intense than that. The body and taste are all benchmark IPA. This is a high quality IPA without any off notes or exaggerations. My second beer from this brewery and I’m beginning to recognize their personality. High quality beers without offending anyone. If the Porter is a “house beer” then I would call the IPA “caseable”. I would be willing to buy a case of this beer.
I helped to found one of the Nation’s largest beer sites. I have to like Belgians and Sours right? Not so much, but I keep trying. I mean, look at the beer in this picture. It looks like it has no color at all to it, nothing like my familiar Porters, IPAs and Stouts. I approached the glass with trepidation, after all the label says it has coriander and spices – sigh. I take a sip and surprise, it’s wonderful. Again, this brewery has targeted a brew style and nailed it without overdoing any taste notes. If someone wanted to try a Belgian style beer for the first time – this is the benchmark that I would direct them to.
How do you approach beers from a new brewery? What defines a brewers personality?
I’d love to hear your feedback.
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