37. Alexandria, Virginia

Old Town Alexandra is really pretty, and at sunset it looks like that picture up there. But this post is not about Old Town (misleading, I know).

The parts of Alexandria I checked out over the summer were the brewery-bearing parts–the homes of Port City Brewing Company and Capitol City Brewing Company (which I’m realizing as I write this is actually in Shirlington. Oops).

Disclaimer: We didn’t really like either of these breweries all that much. So unless you want to hear about why, you might want to stop reading here.

Port City started out promising. You can bring in your own food and sit at their picnic tables–we brought picnic food, but there was a barbecue food truck outside, and we were told ordering in pizza or what have you was perfectly fine, too.

Flights were also $10 and came with 6 beers–so far, so good.

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Now, the problems. First, the place closes at 10:00 p.m. on Fridays–and that’s their late night of the week. And second, the beer just wasn’t that good. I liked their imperial stout–Colossal One–because it was weak for an imperial and tasted like a regular stout. And that was kind of the theme of the flight. Everything was weak, or sorta tasteless, or both.

Considering we began the night at 8:45, 10:00 seemed too early to go home. So we made our way to what I now know is Shirlington, stopping by the Virginia location of DC’s Capitol City Brewing on the way.

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Again, not worth it. This one was a lot bigger and more commercial than Port City, with more of a “family restaurant” feel (and a crying toddler to underscore the point). The Prohibition Porter was good, but the quesadilla I ordered in a moment of weakness was a far cry from the creative eats you find at a lot of breweries these days–and it wasn’t even that good for a mediocre, non-brewery quesadilla.

So, in summary–not your best, Virginia. Luckily, I have a feeling the breweries farther afield more than make up for their Alexandria-based counterparts, and I intend to confirm that theory one of these weekends. Beer road trip, anyone?

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