by Lisa Hinton-Valdrighi
An award-winning beer brewed in Alexandria gets its start a few hours away in fields in the Northern Neck.
Optimal Wit, which won a gold medal August 31 at the 2020 Virginia Craft Beer Cup, is the flagship beer of Port City Brewing Company. I stumbled upon it a few years ago at an Irvington beer fest and was hooked. A wine drinker by choice and a beer drinker by necessity, I struggle to find a craft beer for my palate. But Optimal Wit, a light, crisp and citrusy beer brewed with Virginia wheat, is brewed on Hinton-family farmland in my native Northumberland County. No wonder I liked it.
“It’s a raw wheat. You can tell it’s a wheaty beer,” said Robb Hinton of Cedar Plains Farm in Browns Store, who grows the wheat for Optimal Wit, a Belgian-style Witbier.
Hinton connected with Port City Brewing by way of…
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