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Optimal Wit - Port City Brewing

Optimal WitOptimal Wit

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

177 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 177
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: 177 | Reviews: 54 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Rifugium


3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

First had: on tap at the brewery

Cloudy, pale, golden-colored liquid with a small cap of foamy white head that receded to a ringlet. Light aroma, toasted wheat, citrus zest, faint Belgian yeast. Taste of toasted grains, bready yeast, essence of orange blossom and light coriander, as would be expected of the style. Body was light, mouthfeel was thin, but there was nothing off or offensive, so it was pretty drinkable if you're a fan of the style, even if not the best there is out there.

Serving type: on-tap

11-30-2013 07:51:39 | More by Rifugium
Photo of thecheapies


3.76/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy gelatin yellow. Bright and with white brimming of head. Denser due to a wider glass.

Aromas are mild and wheaty with a light citrus cling. Notes of dry spice, lemon, and nut flesh. Good.

Simple and summery. Wheat and white bread maltiness with a hint of lemon and coriander. Grains of paradise is in here, too. Has some spiciness. Still on the side of nutty. Hops are quiet, but offer a tinge of herbs. Very faint and dull smoke.

A sturdy witte with richness. Almost eggy. Middle carb features in the feel. Quenching.

Decent witbier. Simple and solid. Doesn't stray too far from what it is.

Serving type: on-tap

07-12-2013 02:34:21 | More by thecheapies
Photo of Dave1999

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale straw colour with a small white head.

The smell has strong cloves,coriander,yeast and little hint of lemon.

The taste mirrors the smell with the coriander come through pretty strong. It's light yeasty and wheaty.

Overall a decent wit bier light and tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

03-14-2013 01:06:47 | More by Dave1999
Photo of kylehay2004


3.28/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Enjoyed at the brewery tap room in Alexandria, VA.

A: single finger head with nice lacing on a murky pale golden body.

S: very nice sweet lemon custard and orange peel with light west mustiness.

T: this one is a little watery throughout. Wheat, oats and breads are there in a thin fashion. The citrus provides more of a tart note. Corriander is strong in this one as well.

M: lighter side of medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: this one is a little thin and light on flavor. Highly drinkable but disappointing

Serving type: on-tap

07-29-2012 16:29:12 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of 00trayn


4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a light, transparent golden color. White head about a finger-width tall faded pretty quickly. Has some minimal lacing.

S - Refreshing citrus scent with a hint of spices. Very pleasant and not overpowering.

T - An initially wheat flavor profile gives way to a taste of orange and banana. The finish has a spicy quality. It's incredibly refreshing in the warmer months.

M - Very smooth beer that's easy to drink and enjoy. Moderately carbonated.

O - This has become one of my favorite beers and there is usually a 6-pack in my fridge. It's a solid beer from a new brewery and I'm looking forward to what else they come up with.

Serving type: on-tap

01-17-2012 03:07:07 | More by 00trayn
Photo of Pencible


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

A: This poured a cloudy straw with bit of white head.
S: It smelled like wild yeast and grassy hops and creamy wheat with coriander and orange zest.
T: It tasted like sweet creamy wheat and wild yeast with some coriander and orange zest. It had a mellow and clean sour aftertaste.
M: It was watery with some carbonation...a bit dull.
D: This was a very nice wit. Great scent and taste. Body was ok, but it was super easy to drink. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2011 03:43:21 | More by Pencible
Photo of Godot


3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Belgian Wits are not my go to style but this beer is definitely a nice option for summer drinking. Pours a hazy yellow with a big clunky white head. Smell is of orange peel and grains of paradise. The taste is refreshing and well spiced (read not overly spiced). It has a dryer finish than say Hoegaarden, but that is kind of nice. My wife, who is more of a witbier drinker, enjoyed this one thoroughly and I am sure it will be going into her rotation. As for me, I would never turn it down. Definitely a nice and refreshing offering from Port City.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2011 23:40:53 | More by Godot
Photo of localone703


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

This is a great wit beer, it's everything a good wit beer should be - light and refreshing, but with a bit of body balancing good proportions of spice that identify themselves without overwhelming.

I can see this going over far better as an overall seller than any of their other beers, and deservedly so.

I'd take this over an over-estimated Oberon any day, now they just have to try to convince the brand-image moron drinkers to do the same.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2011 05:47:15 | More by localone703
Photo of dedrinker


4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light hazy yellow color with a thin white head.

Aromas of coriander first, followed by a hint of orange peel.

This beer has a very good balance of malt and spice. I would have liked a little more of that lemony juiciness (little more orange peel?) I have found in others, but this one excelled in its moderate coriander profile - enough to always stay present and up front, but balanced off the pleasing light-yet-substantial malt character. It never got on the wrong side of tart and quenching (too soapy - Noxzema - or too tartly citric).

Light-to-medium body, and a clean quenching finish with more deftly handled spice. This is a consummately professional product - locals ought to shun other wit biers in favor of this one whenever they see it. But who's a die-hard born-n-raised local around here? Too many mid-westerner post-college transplants will stick to their Oberon, when this is clearly superior. Oh well, their loss, college don't teach much I reckon.

Serving type: on-tap

03-23-2011 20:06:43 | More by dedrinker
Photo of PhillyStyle


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

On tap at Pizzeria Paradiso, served in a tulip glass - Old Town, Alexandria, VA (3/2011):

The appeared a bright, hazy, light golden color with a nice white, foamy head that was well-retained and settled into a spotty cap and some nice lacing. The beer looked as expected for the style.

The beer gave off the typical wheat-ish aroma, with hints of yeast/bread, orange and some other spices. The aroma was good, not overpowering, but solid.

The taste of the beer was good, followed the nose really well. The yeast/bread/barley was the first thing that was tasted, followed by a nice hint of the spices. The only problem that I had with the beer is that it got a little watered down at the end. I have never experienced that before, so I am not really sure what to think of it.

The beer had a light feel to it. The beer was very smooth and clean, good carbonation and easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2011 16:43:14 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of blackie


4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: opaquely cloudy golden color - typical wit, with a white head that shows average retention

s: clean, spicy wheat body, full bready yeast presence, nice balance of orange and coriander in "just right" proportions, grassy hops

m: lively carbonation - just over moderate, an otherwise light body carries a fullness on the back of the tongue imparted by the oat addition

t: nice set of wit flavors - clean wheat body, lots of bready yeast, orange, subtle coriander, a little spicy, grassy hops, finishing dry and clean with a very mild bittering, hits all the right notes

d: drinks very well, clean with plenty of flavor and a refreshing finish

good first from this new local - look forward to what they'll put out in the future

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2011 04:15:56 | More by blackie
Photo of ahalloin


4.58/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the brewery.

Pours a hazy light golden color with snow-white frothy head. Looks spot on for a Wit with the classic unfiltered appearance.

Smell is good strength for a 5% beer with spicy yeast phenolics and bready malt body. The additions of orange peel, coriander, and grains of paradise are apparent but not dominating.

The taste is really outstanding actually. Muted bready malted body up front with slight sweetness puts you at ease, but then a sudden attack of spicy tartness and slight bitterness bring this beer to a bone dry finish that is very satisfying and refreshing. This is one of those beers where you NEED another sip, after each sip. It is really inviting and well balanced with a spectacular finish.

Mouthfeel is nice with a lighter medium body and medium carbonation. Possibly more carbonation would be right for the style.

Drinkability is great. This beer will make Blue Moon drinkers realize what they are missing in a properly made Wit.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2011 22:58:21 | More by ahalloin
Photo of Thorpe429


4.15/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a tumbled.

Pour is a cloudy light orange color with a pretty decent amount of haze. White head with some pretty sticky lacing. Overall, a good start. Nose is creamy and full of rich wheat plus some orange zest, coriander, and slight spice. Nice and well-rounded without any taking the front.

Taste is equally as good as the nose. Very pleasant wheat base with a touch of spice along with some nice citrus character. The mouthfeel really takes it away. Light body is enhanced by a nice wheat base and there is a touch of spice throughou along with a nice orange presence. Fairly light carbonation carries it through. Drinkabiliy is really nice. This is quite quaffable even after a 15-minute walk through the cold.

Very glad to add the first beer for this place. It's a good feeling to finally have a local brewery that's actually in my town.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2011 21:24:21 | More by Thorpe429
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
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Optimal Wit from Port City Brewing
84 out of 100 based on 177 ratings.