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Tidings | Port City Brewing

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39 Reviews

Brewed by:
Port City Brewing
Virginia, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.80%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by WMEugene on 11-19-2011

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 39 | Ratings: 120
Photo of metter98
4.09/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Mugs Ale House, Brooklyn, NY

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head.
S: Light to moderate aromas of cardamom and other spices are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste starts out with lots of spicy flavors—coriander and cardamom stand out in particular—and finishes with some sweetness from the honey and some notes of ginger.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is very interesting and complex—I liked how the honey helped to balance things off and prevent this from being overly spicy.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Amyliz4 for grabbing a sixer of this at Rick's in Alexandria last night. Served in a mug.

Pours a hazy golden-yellow color with a good white head and a good bit of lacing on the sides of the mug. Good retention as well and a thin cap throughout. The nose brings forward plenty of spice along with a bit of malt sweetness and honey. Light pepper, clove, and coriander. Flavor is a good mixture of malt sweetness and spice. Nice yeast presence. Medium body and slightly chewy. Good carbonation for the style. Quite nice for a Christmas ale.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.27/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

First had: on tap at Port City

Cloudy golden-yellow pour with a thin, bubbly head that sank to a small ringlet; minimal lacing. Light aroma of toasted grains and mild spice and fruity esters. Taste was a bit bland, Honey Nut Cheerios, light notes of ginger and coriander, herbal hops. More grainy than sweet. Light-medium body, fairly drinkable, but nothing that really stood out to me.

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Photo of Jason
3.82/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Good amount of lacing on the glass, mild haze in the pale golden color

SMELL: Ginger, coriander, earthy spice, mild honey, grassy, estery, bready

TASTE: Crisp, smooth, medium body, warming alcohol, peppery, ginger, faint but bitter coriander, earthy hops, pineapple, nutty yeast, finishes semi-sweet and spicy

Love the angle (brewers intention) on what a winter seasonal can be. Enough spicing to say "holiday brew" but not enough to take over, love the level of alcohol as well ... warming but not something that will make you say goodnight.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.64/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Shane and Mike for this one.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with a one finger white head upon pouring. Not much rentention, ultimately reducing to a thin ring of foam. Not much lacing at all.

S: Quite spicy, with pepper, coriander, and cloves up front. There is a bit of lemon and orange in the middle.

T: Lots of orange and lemon upfront with more of the spices from the aroma, coriander and cloves. Has a slightly sweet finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied, kind of light, but in a good way, especially at 7.8%. Extremely easy drinking.

O: Have tried a few others from Port City and this beer is by far the best one yet.

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Photo of billab914
3.43/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my Ithaca glass. It poured a slightly hazy, golden yellow color with a thin white head scattered across the top of the beer.

The aroma is strong with the spice and honey additions. I get an overwhelming ginger and coriander presence with a lighter honey sweetness. It's zesty and citrusy, but also feels a little medicinal at times. The additions were a little too domination for me.

The taste has more of the zesty, citrusy spices coming through in the front end. Towards the finish I get more of a malty, honey presence mixing with some balancing bitterness and belgian yeast spice. The spice additions are still a little dominating, but it the taste has more balance and range then the nose did.

The mouthfeel is a little heavier than average with carbonation being moderate. Overall, I thought it was a decent beer but not one of the better beers of the season. The spices and additions seemed a little too over the top for me at times, and a little medicinal.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6 pack of this today at the brewery, $10.99/6er. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pilsner glass.

a - Pours a murky pale golden-yellow color with one finger of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing left on the glass and about two to three minutes of head retention.

s - Smells of wheat, coriander, lemon, pepper and spices, cloves, and light honey. Not as citrusy/lemony as their Optimal Wit, but the coriander and spices come out a lot more. Pretty nice.

t - Tastes of coriander, spices, pepper, cloves, wheat, bready malts, light citrus and floral notes, and light honey. Again, heavy on the spices, and pretty nice.

m - Light to medium body and moderate to high carbonation. A touch too carbonated, but still nice and pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty good beer. Tried after an Optimal Wit and while I think I like that one a little more, this is still pretty nice. This obviously had a ton more spices, while the Optimal Wit is more citrusy and lemony. Tons of coriander here and overall pretty easy to drink. Worth checking out.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle gifted by Thorpe429. Merry Christmas buddy!

The beer is golden yellow with just a slight haziness. The head is quite thin at the onset, fading to nothing within a minute or so.

The aroma brings an abundant serving of honey, followed by Christmas spices, a touch of coriander, lemons, sweet malt, hard candies.

The flavor Is sweet, with spices and a lasting honey flavor. I can already tell that one pint will be more than sufficient. Lingering notes of honey cough drops. Lacking a sufficient malt bill to support the honey and spice components, which should be subtle compliments to a tasty base beer, rather than overrun the beer in a cloying fashion.

The feel is thin with low carbonation. Too sweet and somewhat out of balance.

Overall, fun to try but not something I could recommend.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Christmas leftovers! Poured into a tulip glass, going back to the old neck of the woods.

A faint white head forms off the pour with soapy character. Settles down to a puck quickly. Body is a dull brass and hints of dark lemon on the edges with nice looking carbonation.

Nose is an interesting mix of Belgian sweetness and spices. Quite distinct from most spiced Belgian beers I've had. Nice touch, it's highly sweet clove and some cardamom it seems.

Mouthfeel seems a bit too weak and watery, it doesn't match the good assertive palate of chewy malts, sweet spices, and clove goodness. Flavors here are very nicely put together, and this feels like a distinct American version of the style which is a nice take.

Overall, not bad, I do like it. Even the boozyness factor is toned down quite nicely too. Nice job.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.77/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured on tap in a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, pale, honey gold coloring with a clingy, foamy, white head. Aromas of honey, lemon, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and clove. Balanced and inviting. Flavors are spice heavy forward, with clove, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg dominating. Solid follow of lemon, honey, and a subtle Belgian funk. Balanced and tasty, on a light, smooth body. The aftertaste is more of the spice blend, with a subtle linger through a frothy, effervesced finish.

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Photo of Billolick
3.99/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Bottled on dating etched onto the bottle (11/10/2015)

Pours lite straw, wispy near white head, fine film and ample fine bits of lacing

Spicy nose with some ginger, Belgian yeasty,

More Belgian yeast notes with bubblegummy sweetness, light pepper, candi sugars..light and brightly flavorful. I love the style and this an enjoyable take on it

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Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Churchkey DC, I've had every beer from this brewery, not my favorite from them, check out the Oktoberfest next year, hopefully it will just as good.

Beer is sort of gold with a thin tan head of small bubbles, no lacing, low carbonation, looks fine.

Aroma is a little spice, nothing too much, mild overall.

Beer is light in body, mild spice, nice finish. A decent ale overall, I might have it again if it were at a party.

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Photo of ShanePB
3.67/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle courtesy of Mike, fresh from the brewery. Poured into a tulip glass.

A: Cloudy golden orange body with an initially fluffy, creamy white head. The dissipation was fairly standard, and it did leave some minor lacing and a thin foamy ring. Not at all what you'd expect for a typical "winter" beer, but Port City seems to be taking a different approach in style.

S: Lemon, wheat, coriander, clove, orange oils, white pepper and a bit of sweet honey/mead in the back end. It's a very light, airy smelling beer which I really do like about it. Well spiced and tons of aromas are going on, nicely done.

T: Zippy lemon and orange citrus notes up front, backed with a seriously nice wheat and pale malt backbone. The coriander and clove come in mid-palate and give this a very bright spicy character. The back end has some sweet honey notes and a touch of a peppery flavor.

M: Well carbonated, lots of tiny bubbles around the mouth giving the illusion of a very silky, smooth feel. Quite impressed, no off lingers or flavors - a sharp cut. For being 7.80% ABV this is dangerously well hidden.

Port City took a chance at doing something other than your traditional Belgian Strong Dark, Strong Ale or Winter Warmer style for the winter. A Belgian Strong Pale Ale? You just don't see that as a winter seasonal, but this works really well. It has a lot of Witbier spices with some warming winter-like spices that really make this beer shine. A fine attempt at their first one.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.54/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 12/7/11
*From notes

A: Slightly cloudy yet fairly transparent pale golden. A decent pour yields a disappointingly soapy and rather loose white .25 finger head.

S: Fresh cardamon, grass and a slight twinge of citrus.

T: A substantial amount of wheat is the front runner, and overwhelms the beer. Underneath I find a thin layer of spice and freshly minced garden herbs. It's actually a bit more flavorful then I originally expected.

M: Decent yet unspectacular. Thinner then a winter seasonal like this should be, and therefore it limits what could be a fairly complex little brew.

O: Port City's Tidings isn't a bad offering. In fact if you're into minimally spiced holiday offerings, I recommend checking it out. I don't foresee myself getting back into this, but I wouldn't discourage anyone from doing so.

*Keep churning out the new and seasonal offerings, guys. So far, so good.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.62/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clearish gold with minimal head on top of a light, citric and spicy aroma that is complete w/ some yeast twang and a sturdy malt base. This beer is light and simple, and yet real easy to relax with. Passes over easy and smooth, but not watery, and has a nice citric zip as well as a good wheat/yaest twang. The beer is rounded out with a spicy, peppery edge and some candi sugar sweetness. Wish I could say more but that's about it, but like first said, this is a beer you can just relax with at the bar b/c it's light and simple and beats the shit out of a bud light (no caps on purpose).

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Photo of maximum12
2.5/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to AndrewNations for a selection of Port City, a heretofore unknown brewery to me.

Pour is light & hazy to the point of solidity. Nose is severe spices, large bit of wheat.

Tidings is a spice lovers dream. Massive spicing overwhelms any beer in this beer, ginger, mint, lavender, who knows what else. Honey overwhelms with sweetness. Tons of wheat.

Eh. Heavy-handed in every direction. Not terrible, but six ounces is plenty. Too much of everything. Wouldn't try this one again.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.3/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a very pale straw color - we're practically talking light beer territory. The head is impressive, though; at three fingers high with good retention and a creamy texture, it really creates an aesthetically pleasing brew. Some patches of lacing are left behind, which is somewhat unusual for a BSPA.

S: Holy freaking spices. Not just the usual suspects - i.e. coriander and cinnamon - but also notes like oregano, black pepper, ginger, and thyme. It's the coriander, in particular, that's striking me the hardest. There isn't much of anything when it comes to malts or esters: their neutrality seems to suggest a desire of showcasing the spicing more than anything. Certainly an interesting nose, if not a great one.

T: To the surprise of no one with a working nose, the flavor is spicy as well. Just a hint of malt sweetness opens it up, before the spice profile comes down like a damn hammer. Coriander, ginger, cinnamon, oregano, you name it, it's here. It's strong enough to give the finish a surprising bitterness. What ultimately rules, however, are the honey notes suddenly appearing. A reasonably good brew that could use a bit more balance.

M: Doesn't seem to have the dryness or zesty carbonation of a typical BSPA. The honey really comes through on the feel: it gives both a lingering sweetness and a building dryness. It is pretty drinkable for nearly 8%, then again, it freaking SHOULD be.

O: Interesting. While it's ultimately too sweet to really succeed as a BSPA, it does do a decent job of showcasing the spices. A few tweaks will make this one really good.

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Photo of blackie
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

single from WF, brewed with Virginia red winter wheat and Maryland honey

a: served in a unibroue tulip, the beer is a hazy golden hay in color, the pour producing a small head that recedes to a thin ring in short order

s: coriander and cardamom occupy the nose with complex perfumes - underneath is a honey sweetness, phenolic, ginger and white pepper, clean wheat grain, fruity bubblegum esters, white flower nectar, and a slew of yeast output, benign papery hops, the spicing is a bit strong for my nose, but it's a nice spice blend, and kinda creeps on me after a bit

m: carbonation light-moderate, smooth, light bodied

t: spice again takes center on the palate - big coriander and cardamom with ginger, phenols, cleanly sweet flavors of wheat and honey, suggestions of pepper after the swallow, hops mildly flavored with a slight bitterness, spices lingering very long, good but an unbalanced mess of spice at times

o: my gripe here is not with the spice itself, but the fact that a large majority of the character of this beer seems to be derived from the spice bill, a combination of the mild structure of the beer and sheer volume of spice, not to say it's all bad of course - I'm a fan of these spices, and they provide a warm aroma and while creating an interesting drink

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Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I live right up the road from the brewery and never even knew they produced this beer until I saw it on the shelf in the store.

A: Strange color indeed: Light peach/orange/honeysuckle mesh, extremely murky, and with a very slight, if even relevant head.

S: More than a hint of ginger. Dang! Additionally, some clove and definitely cinnamon which was pretty potent.

T: Okay, I tried this one the other day as a sample in my local Whole Foods and didn't really care for it. However, after a couple of sips, this one is starting to grow on me. The honey/wheat combo is a fun duet, with coriander, ginger, and cinnamon thrown in to boot.

M: Not only is there a tinge of sugar linger, there is also a spice one as well. The carbonation was mild, yet effective and the lacing was non-existent.

O: I was going to write about how this one is only best in small doses, but that would totally negate my comment to the contrary in the taste section. My suggestion: Drink lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of this one, and then send me a BM with your verdict.

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Photo of delta490
4.17/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-poured out a deep clear gold. Minimal head or retention.

S-honey and spices are abundant in the aroma

T-has a certain tangy quality to it. The spices, honey, malt and earthy hops blend quite well

M- thinner and smooth. Fits the flavor profile well

O-an full flavored holiday ale that doesn't overwhelm with its flavors

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Photo of Jimmys
3.75/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: a highly hazed straw yellow. head starts big and recedes to a rim and a thin top. was expecting some more bustle from a belgian base.

S: menthol-like. Listerine? spruce tips. this is a deep mintyness, unlike any brew i have smelled before. not gonna lie, i dont love it. a little too one-note/overpowering.

T: similar to the nose, there is an almost medicinal minty-ness. a full-bodied pale malt is backing up the mint/spice. fruit in there too. a fig or white grape. a spicey clove/all-spice lingers into the finish with the mint.

M: pretty moderate mouthfeel. medium/full-bodied.

D: not my favorite from port city. good flavor, just wish the menthol was a bit toned down on the nose. otherwise solid and worth grabbing a bottle of if you are in the market.

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Photo of ksimons
3.89/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bready malts in the smell and taste with honey, spices, and yeast. Medium body with moderate to high carbonation. An interesting beer that I am glad I tried. I think it is better than the average 3.65 rating.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.64/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was just plain ugly. No head, no lacing, cloudy, just ugly. The beer smelled citrus like and tasted like it but I could not identify what fruit. The taste was a little sweet. The big taste was alcohol and that was it. Way too much heat, blew away any flavor notes. I will not buy this beer again.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, honey-yellow color with no head what-so-ever.

Aroma: Strong notes of honey and clover and clove, but not much in the way of malt or hops. There’s some Belgian yeast aromas there, imparting notes of straw and a little barnyard funk, but the predominate aroma is honey.

Taste: Very Belgian saison- or triple-like. Tons of Belgian yeast, providing lots of clove, bubblegum, coriander, and some black pepper, all under a honey backbone.

Mouthfeel: Thin to almost watery. No carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 7.8%, there is just a touch of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a pretty good beer, but not what I was expecting for a Christmas/Winter beer. There’s some good Belgian yeast notes and honey, but I was expecting a darker beer loaded with winter-like spices. Belgian fans should like this.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.35/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky yellow color with a thin off white head. Minimal lacing on the side on my snifter glass. The nose is very medicinal, with lemon, pepper, and other spices coming through. The medicine quality really detracts from this category however. The taste is better than the nose. The medicine taste is minimal, and the lemon, spices, and malt really shine through. Feel is medium, with little carbonation, and a slightly syrupy vibe to it. Overall, this is a decent brew- but I probably won't look for it again.

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Tidings from Port City Brewing
3.64 out of 5 based on 120 ratings.
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