Port City Brewing Expanding, Staying in Alexandria, Virginia

by Lee Hernly, Editor

Port City Brewing in Alexandria, Virginia

Port City Brewing Company Receives Competitive Incentive
Package to Expand Operations in Alexandria, Virginia

Today, Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that Alexandria’s nationally recognized, award-winning Port City Brewing Company will expand its craft brewery production footprint in Alexandria as a result of a competitive incentive package.

The Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP), in collaboration with the Governor’s Office and the City of Alexandria, worked for more than a year to retain Port City. AEDP identified a largely untapped state incentive program known as the Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) fund that helped Alexandria create a highly competitive incentive package that resulted in Port City’s decision to remain and expand in Alexandria.

“Investments like this create jobs, tourism opportunities, and new markets for Virginia’s farmers as craft breweries source products like hops, fruit, herbs, and other agricultural products,” said Governor McAuliffe, speaking at today’s announcement.  “Port City is a nationally renowned craft brewery, and I am thrilled to help them launch a new chapter in their growth. Growing the craft beer industry and all the industries it supports is an integral part of our new Virginia economy, and the Commonwealth has quickly become one the most significant player in the craft beverage industry on the East Coast.”

Port City Brewing Company is a part of Virginia’s thriving craft beer industry. Founded in 2011, Port City is the oldest packaging brewery in metropolitan Washington, D.C.  In September 2015, Port City was named Small Brewing Company and Small Brewing Company Brewer of the Year at the Great American Beer Festival. Port City’s beers have gained the company awards in state and national contests.  Port City’s most popular beer is Optimal Wit, a Belgium-style wheat beer made using 100% Virginia grown wheat, has won numerous awards, including a Gold Medal at the 2013 Great American Beer Festival.  Port City currently distributes throughout Virginia, Washington, D.C. and other Mid-Atlantic states.  Its expansion will allow the company to more than double production to continue to meet the growing demand from its existing markets, as well as enter new ones.

“Port City’s expansion in Alexandria is a great story of a local business growing its operations and connecting with area producers to create a unique product that showcases the terroir of Virginia,” said Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry. “The economic development project creates new jobs and revenue streams and demonstrates the role agriculture can play in urban areas of the Commonwealth.  I am pleased the AFID program could support this home-grown Virginia business in its continued success as we continue our work with the Governor and private sector partners to build a new Virginia economy.”

“My family has been in Virginia since the 1700’s, and in Alexandria since 1908,” said Port City President & CEO Bill Butcher. “I’m very proud that we brew world class quality beer in my hometown. I’m also very proud that we use Virginia grown wheat in our best selling and most awarded beer, Optimal Wit. We look forward to continuing to grow our business in Alexandria using this important agricultural product grown right here in Virginia.”

“Port City Brewing Company, named after our beloved, historic city, is an Alexandria gem. We are very proud that it was founded here just five years ago, and that we are able to work in partnership with the Commonwealth of Virginia to support Port City’s next phase of growth here in our city,” said Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg. “Each bottle of Port City beer boasts our city’s name. Therefore, as Port City continues to grow, so does their role as a valuable brand ambassador, drawing thousands of people to our great city each year.”

“I am glad to see Port City investing and growing in Alexandria,” said Delegate Charniele Herring. “I appreciate the administration’s support on this project, and look forward to Port City continuing to contribute to the new Virginia economy.”

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) worked with City of Alexandria and the company to secure the expansion for Virginia. Governor McAuliffe approved a $250,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund, which Alexandria will match with local funds.

Prior to this decision, Port City weighed expansion options across Northern Virginia and identified an industrial site in Alexandria that could meet their evolving needs. The incentive package presented by AEDP provides $250,000 in state dollars, which Alexandria will match, and makes it possible for Port City to make a capital investment of $2.6 million and hire 26 new employees to meet growing customer demand. As a result, the City expects to gain nearly $300,000 in new tax revenue in the next five years. As National Craft Beer Month concludes today, this deal is an example of AEDP’s creativity in discovering innovative ways to attract and retain businesses across various industries.

Port City Brewing in Alexandria, Virginia

(Photos via Maurisa Potts)

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