WTOP’s Top 10: The best local brewery

Port City Brewing Company opened in 2011. The local brewery serves up five permanent beers, as well as seasonal and occasional varieties. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
This year, Port City could produce 10,000 barrels of beer. Its production in June was up almost 100 percent from the previous year. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
The local brewery serves up five permanent beers, as well as seasonal and occasional varieties. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
Port City Brewing Company in Alexandria, Va., is the listeners' and readers' pick for best local brewery. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Microbreweries have gone from niche to ubiquitous in a relatively short period of time.

In the Washington area, retail stores carry shelves of locally brewed beer, bars have switched tap handles to reflect homegrown flavors and thirsty locals carry their growlers to fill at area breweries on the weekends.

But among the growing collection of these breweries, there is a favorite.

WTOP readers and listeners have voted Port City Brewing Company in Alexandria, Va., as their favorite local option.

“This is kind of the ‘Wild West’ of beer right now going on in D.C.,” says Jonathan Reeves, the head brewer at Port City. “There are a lot of really good breweries, and it’s great to be in a place like this where there are so many different styles of beer.”

Port City produces five beers year-round, three seasonally and a couple of others when the occasion seems right.

“I find it very satisfying to know that there are a lot of people who, at the end of the day, are sitting down and drinking my beer when they have a moment to relax,” Reeves says.

The brewery, which opened in 2011, produced nearly 100 percent more brew this past June than it did the previous year. As many as 10,000 barrels could move through the Alexandria facility by the end of 2013.

“There are great brew pubs, great package breweries in this town,” Reeves says, noting that he likes what they many turn out.

“I guess what sets us apart — we don’t necessarily make extreme beers,” he says. “We make beers that are something to accompany a good meal, something to drink while you’re sitting in a beer garden on a summer day in the shade.”

Port City offers tours and tastings Wednesday through Sunday.

See the full list of WTOP winners and the runners-up in the Top Ten photo gallery.

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