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Optimal Wit - Port City Brewing

Optimal WitOptimal Wit

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

176 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 176
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 11.29%

Brewed by:
Port City Brewing visit their website
Virginia, United States

Style | ABV
Witbier |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Thorpe429 on 02-04-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 176 | Reviews: 54 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Cresant


3.69/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured this 12 oz. into a footed tulip glass. No date. This one was a gift, I would never have purchased this one on my own due to this not being a favorite style. The body was clear, with a bright yellowy-gold color. The bright white head dissipated quickly.

The smell was cloves and fresh grain.

The taste was white peppercorns and spicy yeast. There was a snap of wheat. Crisp tartness was so refreshing and tasty! I enjoyed this one much more than I had anticipated.

The mouthfeel was medium to light in density. Adequate carbonation. Easy to drink and quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 22:49:01 | More by Cresant
Photo of flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle as a gift brought home from Virginia:
Hazy, light, golden colour with a thin, white head that consists of tonnes of tiny bubbles and stays well for a minute or so.

Spicy notes initially with some yeast and lemon coming through along with it. There is a strong smell of coriander that follows this and some bananas and orange peel.

Strong wheat and yeast flavours with some banana and clove to kick things off with. There is hints of coriander in the taste too along with a bit of citrus lemon and some orange zest.

Light medium with some spice and a citrus tang along with a relatively creamy and smooth taste, coupled with strong carbonation.

Miles better than I was expecting and I knew it was going to be a nice beer before I tried it. All the usual suspects are there for the style but they come together great and the beer is a cracker.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 20:39:04 | More by flyingpig
Photo of Onenote81

North Carolina

3.89/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a dark honey gold like lemonade. A small white head caps it off. Light lace left behind. The nose is tart with lemon, ginger, general spicy profile. Crisp body - refreshing. Moderate-to-high carbonation.

This is one of the more fruit-forward Wits I've had in awhile - pineapple is the main player, lemon, tart apple. Common Wit spices noted of coriander and a bit of ginger. This was a refreshing beer, perfect for the upcoming warmer months. I wouldn't mind having a sixer of this around to quaff. A nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2013 13:16:50 | More by Onenote81
Photo of scottbrew4u


3.66/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a hazed golden orange color with a short bubbly white head.

S:Some wheat and fresh apricots up front then some coriander and other mild spices, maybe ginger. Some citrusy hops give a strong note.

T: Citrus, apricot and fresh grains provide a solid start. Coriander comes through and maybe a bit of ginger and they are in good quantity not overdone.

M: Lightly crisp light body and fairly smooth drinking.

O: Solid American wit and certainly not a lot of flaws so it is worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 21:48:38 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of BeerAdvocate


3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Hazy golden

SMELL: Doughy, coriander, ripe plum, orange peel, earthy, floral, yeast

TASTE: Smooth, nutty, biscuity grain, yeast, coriander, mild bitterness, peppery, orange pith, faint saltiness, ripe fruit, spicy, grainy finish

Brewed to style with all the right bells and whistles going off, meaning that it does not taste like you have walked down the soap aisle in a department store. The use of grains of paradise adds that needed depth that most American brewed Witbiers lack.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2013 03:46:40 | More by BeerAdvocate
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Pours yellow/golden with some darker tones. Light foaming. Wheaty smell, notes of citrus in the nose. Taste is a rich full wheat flavor with a light citrus lemon mouthfeel. Very smooth. Minor rind taste. Very good.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 12:22:31 | More by KTCamm
Photo of KajII

North Carolina

3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

[Suggested Glassware: Weizen Glass]

The pour was a cloudy medium yellow with a large (2-3 finger) white fizzy head that receded at a rather quick steady pace, and produced poor spotty lacing.

The aroma was mild of a light grain malt and a musty Belgian yeast with notes of citrus (orange), coriander and a hint of pepper.

The taste was lightly sweet and citrusy from the beginning, then progressed with a light spicy and mild funky yeast taste and a slight peppery ending. The flavor lasted an average duration after consumption, with a spicy yeast taste fading slowing into the background.

Mouthfeel was light in body and watery in texture with a carbonation that was just beyond mild.

Overall this was a very mild Witbier, both in taste and body. Although, it would make a great session beer on one of those intensely hot summer days...


Serving type: bottle

11-11-2012 16:01:19 | More by KajII
Photo of BryanCarey


3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden in color and cloudy, this Belgian white ale has a nose that is mild, with scents of citrus, clove, and bread. The head of foam is moderate at first, but falls apart in a short time.

This ale offers flavors of wheat, pale malt, clove, light spice, yeast, and grains. The body is medium to light and there is a certain mineral- like quality that shows up part- way through. It isn’t bad, but it is different from other beers of this syle. The finish is a little lighter that I prefer and a tad watery, but still okay.

Port City’s Optimal Wit is a nice, easy- drinking and acceptable wheat beer. I don’t find it anything incredible, but it is a good effort from Port City and it does seem like a good beer to serve as a summer refresher.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2012 23:23:40 | More by BryanCarey
Photo of Daniellobo

District of Columbia

3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good local take on a witbier.

Presentation: 12 oz brown capped bottle. Simple light grey label with a radial design presided by the brewery identity and the name of the brew from a blue diamond, again not painful but pretty blah. Shows 5% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Lightly hazy straw pour, fair frothy head and retention, good surface memory, some touches of lacing...

S - Sweet wheat, bready notes, light spicy touch…

T - Nicely wheaty, all the notes of spice, coriander, orange peel...

M - Light/medium body with medium carbonation,

O - Fair flow, might make for a nice sessionish local wheat beer.

Notes: Having being recommended to try this one, I must confess that while not disappointed it is not something that I would necessarily proactively seek out. Style and soft sense for me really leave it on the realm of the casual encounter, maybe offering it socially in warm days or for light palates. Which having just said that, is not too bad an use for a good brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2012 01:43:54 | More by Daniellobo
Photo of WesWes

New York

3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a cloudy blonde with a two finger white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a light, pale and wheat malt scent along with an excellent citrus and coriander character. There is a bit of lemon zest that really enhances both the aroma and the taste. The taste is good as well. It has a quaffable pale and wheat malt flavor. It's crisp and refreshing with spot on spicing. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a very drinkable summer seasonal; a good representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2012 16:06:05 | More by WesWes
Photo of Todd


3.43/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

LOOK: Dirty blonde, cloudy, near opaque, foamy white head that fizzes away

SMELL: Powdery, floral, citric rinds, perfumey, yeast, grain husks

TASTE: Firm, oaty fullness and flavor, wheat, citric snap, orange peel, sweet bready grains, coriander, yeasty, earthy, dry floury finish

A bit heavier and darker than most traditional Witbiers, and it's missing that crisp, dry and effervescent edge that I've come to expect. Whatever percentage of oats they used seems to overpower a bit too much as well; lending too much flavor and body. Still, not bad.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2012 02:28:36 | More by Todd
Photo of DefenCorps


3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle, buck nidynine from the Village Pump. They were all out of Nugget Nectar, so I grabbed a couple of ticks instead.

An incredibly hazy (in a nice way) yellow with a dense, white head, choppy and bubbly, that recedes to a disk leaving little lacing. The nose has a ton of wheat with a nice, yeasty, bready character. Spice character here is moderate, with a nice blend of coriander (almost makes me think of cilantro) along with some orange peel. Quite refreshing.

The palate is pretty decent too. Plenty of wheat and grain up front, with a pretty quenching and refreshing carbonic acid bite, this is quite nice. The spice character is actually really nice, with a delicate coriander and even some grains of paradise, delicate and mellow. The water, though, seems a touch heavy on the mineral content, causing the flavors to dissipate and the mid-palate seem watery. Light on the body with crisp carbonation, this is quite refreshing, and quite enjoyable. Not the best wit, but among the better domestic versions I've had.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2012 02:29:30 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of VncentLIFE

North Carolina

3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Liquid is very light yellow color, but cloudy. No carbonation. Rather lackluster.

Smells like Blue Moon, honestly. Lots of sweet orange extract thrown in. I guess this one is heavy on the Curacao.

Taste feels slick and watered down. Very light on the yeast. Honestly feels like Blue Moon. So its not a terrible beer, but not all that great either.

Sits light, probably from the slick feeling. A bit like Hoegaarden, but more citrusy and less balanced.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 22:17:18 | More by VncentLIFE
Photo of BeerFMAndy


3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle split and poured into a Duvel tulip.
5% ABV, no date.

Thanks to Thorpe429 for this brew (and sorry I've slacked majorly at getting the reviews up!)

A - A swirled bottle releases hazed pale straw yellow beer with a short-lived white head. Fingers of lace cling to the glass. It looks the part so far!

S - Intriguing aroma of mild Belgian yeast, coriander spice, a hint of orange peel citrus, and a clean, soft wheat finish. Inviting and refreshing.

T - Soft wheat and pale malt is strong in flavor with an underlying coriander spice. Minimal Belgian yeast components going on here though.

M - Soft and clean with a supple feel and smooth, light body. Refreshing finish!

O - Enjoyable and refreshing, this wit is a good American-brewed version of the classic Belgian style. Move over Blue Moon, I'll take this beer over you anytime.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2011 23:17:18 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of clayrock81


3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow w/ minimal head and no lace but you can see constant carbonation. Aroma is rather mild, almost airy. I do get some of spice and citric/lemoz zest, and some floral and bready notes but not alot. Light, easy to drink, almost lawnmowerish beer, the sweetness is there for a wit and I like the smoothness but the lack of defines flavors - there's a crisp, lemony/spicey finish but the body of the beer is just a little bit of citric/spice/malts. Just enough going on to be a truly great wit.

Serving type: bottle

12-04-2011 20:08:50 | More by clayrock81
Photo of TechTriumph


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes on 11/03/11:
No freshness date; Poured in a weizen glass.

A - 3" creamy white head that recedes to 1/2" after a few minutes; Straw yellow/amber color with a cloudy haze; Lacing is minimal

S - Very light smell; Notes of cloves, bananas, and fresh bread with a slight citrus aroma as well

T - Bread-like yeast up front; Cloves, spices, and slighty sweet citrus flavor comes through next; Light aftertaste with a subtle flavor of grains

M - Pretty good carbonation - tingles and massages the tongue; Nice clean and slightly dry finish; Light bodied

O - I think this brew does a pretty good job for a witbier. It's smooth, easy to drink, and very refreshing. I could certainly drink many of these in succession. I may wait until the warmer months, but I'll definitely seek out this beer and have again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2011 01:14:30 | More by TechTriumph
Photo of Arithmeticus


3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in tall pilsner glass

A: little carbonation; minimal head; clear, solid yellow
S: clove, yeast; inviting aroma
T: dry, spiced, medium hops; light on the Belgian side of things (e.g., bottle conditioning); not very intense flavor

Overall, a good solid beer, drawing sound inspiration from the Belgians.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2011 18:32:17 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of vfgccp

New York

3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my buddy Dan for this one.

A – Poor head retention and lace. Pale banana yellow color.

S – Yeast, banana, sour apple lemon, and a hint of sourdough bread. Touch of earthy coriander and green peppercorns in there as well.

T – Not bad at all. The beer has a honey-like sweetness and a bright, juicy center of apple, coriander, peppercorn, banana, and pear. The finish is semi-tart with white grape skins.

M – Well balanced acidity. Medium body, but sub-par carbonation for the style. Light, but lingering finish.

O – Refreshing with a pleasant complexity.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 17:32:59 | More by vfgccp
Photo of Eriktheipaman


3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light gold with with white head that eventually fades.

The smell is a nice zest from the spices but is mostly of a fruity malt.

The taste is laid back for the style but I kind of like it about this one. The malt is the big player here as well as a slight hint of lemon. There is still a little hit of spices.

Overall a pretty decent Wit and am glad it produced locally. Win.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 00:03:00 | More by Eriktheipaman
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear straw color with a reasonably impressive head that displays decent retention and leaves a few shards of lace

Smell: Bready, with orange peel, grains of paradise and coriander tones

Taste: Bready, up front, but the pithy , grains of paradise and coriander flavors quickly jump forward; after the swallow, there is a hint of sweet malt that adds to the profile

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: I would prefer this to be a bit drier but it is a fairly decent stab at the style

Thanks, smokeypeat, for the opportunity

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 01:39:18 | More by brentk56
Photo of Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.55/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruge hybrid glass on 8/16/11
*From notes

A: Cloudy and sandy beach white-amber. A one finger head and moderate lacing are the product of a decent pour.

S: Cloves and bananas. It's got the characteristics you look for in the wit style.

T: Again, a generous helping of ripe banana. Hints of orange and a dusting of spice add a complexity to this low ABV brew. The finish is rather yeasty.

M: Pretty damn creamy. It's packs the proper punch.

O: Port City's Optimal Wit is a solid little offering. It's exactly what I think of when I think "Witbier", and if you're a fan of the style, you could drink this all day. As someone who is not, I'd still put a couple of these back.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2011 16:52:23 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of devilben02

North Carolina

3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

While visiting family in the NoVa area, my Coors-Light-loving cousin offered this one to me as an alternative to the light lagers he normally keeps stocked. It pours a pale, lemony hay color with only a thin, wispy white head. The aroma has a subtle musty, yeasty character as expected for the style. The flavor is lightly fruity, with a faint banana character, which is contrasted by an earthy yeastiness. The texture is fizzy and light, which is fine with the light flavor profile but unexciting. Overall, this beer is light and pleasant, yet nicely flavored, making it a solid albeit unremarkable witbier.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2011 16:33:32 | More by devilben02
Photo of mralphabet


4.22/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Poured 2/3 bottle....clear yellow with a touch of orange... swirled last 1/3 and poured... now we are a murky light orange with a about a fingers worth of fluffy head that settles to a nice ring with minimal lacing.

S: Smells great, like a great Wit.... Lots of coriander, orange peels, spices, yeast, and wheat. Everything you want...

T: Wheat is right up front with a good touch of orange zest, peels, spices, coriander, and yeast. Finish is clean, crisp with very little aftertaste. Right on top of the style for me...

M: Mid to light bodied with a moderate carbonation. Very smooth feel... good body, very easy to drink.

D: Good ABV, great taste.... Good combo... This is currently my favorite Wit.. Everything fits the style to a tee... Very very drinkable Wit. Seek this one out... Worth a try.

Side note: This is a very young brewery... Give these guys a try...

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2011 00:11:27 | More by mralphabet
Photo of zeledonia


3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden straw yellow, a might bit hazy. The one-finger white head, all big bubbles, disappeared when I turned my back. No lacing.

Smells of wheat, spices, and Belgian yeast. Quite nice, kind of a kitchen sink variety, with the various aromas almost, but not quite, blending together well.

Tastes much like it smells. Pale malt, nice soft peppery spice, wheat. No hops, no bitterness. Just tasty smooth pale spicy goodness.

Medium-light body, carbonation is a touch low. Finish is neither quick nor long - right there in the middle. Slightly dry.

A very solid wit, with everything you'd expect and nothing you wouldn't. Pretty darn tasty, but nothing amazing. It's exciting to see a local brewer making this style one of their staples.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2011 04:12:52 | More by zeledonia
Photo of wahhmaster


3.15/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Moab Brewery shaker pint.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, very pale yellow color. Has a thin, fizzy head that dissipates quickly and leaves little lacing. Typical witbier territory here.

Smell: Smells fruity and spicy with definite citrus and coriander notes.

Taste: Slightly bitter up front. Finishes sweet and fruity with a hint of spiciness.

Mouthfeel: A bit on the thin/flat side but still adequately refreshing.

Overall: This is a very average witbier, well-done but unexciting. I would be willing to give it another shot solely because, for me, it's a local brewery and I try to favor local establishments if I can.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2011 18:03:19 | More by wahhmaster
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Optimal Wit from Port City Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 176 ratings.