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Port City Colossal THREE Heller Bock

Where in Town: Meridian Pint, 3400 11th St. NW

Price: $7/12 oz

Hop of List

Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company has garnered considerable attention since it opened in February 2011. You may recall Derecho Common, the serendipitous beer that resulted from five days without power during D.C.’s freak 2012 summer storm. Or perhaps you’ve seen the “Hopzooka,” Port City’s MacGyver-style, patent-pending dry hopping device. But equally notable are brewmaster Jonathan Reeves’ skillfully crafted beers, already pouring in six states plus D.C. Accolades for his work include an impressive four medals at last year’s craft beer Oscars, the Great American Beer Festival, including two for anniversary ales Colossal ONE and TWO.

Three Sheets to the Win

Last week, Port City celebrated its third year with the anticipated debut of Colossal THREE Heller Bock. Also called Maibock, the strong lager style was first brewed in Bavaria, Germany, to drink in the chilly, early spring days of May. Port City’s 8.5 percent-alcohol brew—a single-batch, draft-only release—has Pilsner and Munich malts that bestow a glowing amber hue plus honey and bread flavors. Its Saaz and Hallertau hops impart an earthy aroma and muted bitterness. Following traditional methods, THREE was matured at near-freezing temperatures for eight weeks to ensure a smooth, clean finish. The resulting winter warmer is surprisingly fruity and creamy textured. Look out for Meridian Pint’s “Polar Vortex” eisbock version, made by removing ice from a partially frozen barrel of the beer to increase its potency.

Photo by Tammy Tuck