Dec 13, 2011

Port City Brewing Tidings

Port City Tidings photo

Port City Brewing has been a big hit with me the past few months. Thier Monumental IPA and Porter have been in a fairly regular rotation in my beer fridge. So when word got out that they were brewing up a Belgian for a holiday/seasonal release, it was at the top of my list of local brews to purchase.

Billed as a Belgian Strong Blond, Tidings is crafted with local Maryland wildflower honey and Virginia wheat. The beer also incorporates coriander, cardamom, fresh ginger and grains of paradise into the mix, resulting in a brew that’s festive and, at 7.8% ABV, just warming enough to take the chill off.


Tidings pours a pale amber in color with a quickly disappearing (and noisy) white head.


The nose is fairly sweet with plenty of earthy honey, spices, a touch of wheat and Belgian yeast. The ginger really comes out a bit more as the beer has time to sit in the glass.


For as audible as the head was falling, I suppose I expected the mouthfeel to be more active, but the carbonation level was fairly low, giving the beer a smoother feel on the tongue. Combined with the sweetness at hand, the beer takes on a character more suited for post-dinner enjoyment. The wildflower honey has a solid presence within the flavor profile as do the spices and wheat. The beer is surprisingly warming — giving off the impression of more alcohol than there really is.


Tidings is a solid first effort as far as Belgian-inspired holiday ales go. It’s a bit on the sweet side for my own personal liking, but other than that the wheat, spices and Belgian yeast come together well. It’s much warmer than expected and probably best served as an evening sipper after a long cold day playing in the snow.


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