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Robert Portner (1837 – 1906) was a pioneer, inventor and founder of The Robert Portner Brewing Company (as known as the Tivoli Brewery).

Robert Portner (1837 - 1906)
Robert Portner (1837 – 1906)

Robert Portner emigrated from Westphalia, Germany and opened the brewery’s doors in Alexandria, Virginia in 1869. The Robert Portner Brewing Company grew to become the largest pre-Prohibition brewery in the Southeastern United States and city’s largest employer. The company distributed its flagship TIVOLI Hofbrau Pilsner from Washington D.C. to Florida. (TIVOLI is I LOV IT spelled backwards). He was elected the first President of the United States Brewers Association in 1879, the precursor to today’s Brewers Association. When the State of Virginia passed Prohibition in 1916, the brewery closed a few months later that year. Since then, the company and its story has laid dormant.

Exactly a century later, Catherine and Margaret Portner, two of Robert Portner’s great-great granddaughters, embark on their own journey to resurrect the history and celebrate it as a new concept in the same city as the original brewery. But this time, the sisters are adding a few innovations of their own.

Catherine (left) and Margaret (right) Photo credit: Jefferson Evans
Catherine (left) and Margaret (right)
Photo credit: Jefferson Evans

Portner Brewhouse is a restaurant brewery and Craft Beer Test Kitchen. The company celebrates and fosters the pursuit of the American Dream by showcasing the history and achievements of the Robert Portner Brewing Company and support aspiring brewers through its Craft Beer Test Kitchen.

Set against the backdrop of classic and contemporary German-American cuisine, comfortable atmosphere adorned with original Portner artifacts (i.e. beer bottles, steins, advertising posters) and opportunity to enjoy original reconstructed beer recipes, including the flagship Hofbrau pilsner, from the Robert Portner Brewing Company beers year round. Join us in celebrating and brewing local history!


New Winter Menu



Craft Beer Test Kitchen


Wondering if you should drop everything and start your own brewery?

Ever wanted to just see one of your beers on tap at the local pub?

Why wait? Soon you’ll be able to do just that.

The Craft Beer Test Kitchen program at Portner Brewhouse is the ultimate brewing development opportunity. Under the direction of our head brewer and tasting panel, submit your beer recipe and samples for evaluation then join our head brewer for your beer’s brew day on our 3.5 bbl system. Once your beer is ready, join your friends and family for its official launch party!

CBTK Beer Grades

The beer will be available for sale to the thirsty public and eligible for customer review. Sales data and customer feedback shall be incorporated into a Recipe Report Card on your unique beer recipe.

No brewery, no business, no license – NO PROBLEM!

 Interested in applying for the Craft Beer Test Kitchen program?

Learn more and apply online at




#ALXBrewTour: Alexandria Historic Breweries Walking Tour & Tasting

Walking Tour Pic 2

Join Alexandria’s Historic Breweries author, Garrett Peck, and Portner Brewhouse Co-Founder, Cat Portner, on a guided walking tour around Old Town Alexandria exploring the foundations of local brewing. The tour includes highlights from the print brochure, beer sampling and culminates at one of Alexandria’s current Hop Stops.

Each tour will feature a local homebrewer interested in your feedback as part of Portner Brewhouse’s Craft Beer Test Kitchen


December 3rd

Tour begins promptly at 2 pm

Flash Your Fob

Exclusively for Modera Tempo Residents & Staff join us for Tempo Tuesdays!


Mug Club

Each Mug Club Member receives a limited edition Portner Brewhouse beer stein modeled after original Robert Portner Brewing Company steins. The 20 oz steins were handmade by a ceramic artist, individually numbered and limited to only 250 members.


  • Always enjoy 25% more beer! (20 oz draft at 16 oz prices)
  • 10% discount off your individual food purchase, excludes happy hour
  • Invitations to special exclusive events only for Mug Club Members
  • Early access to Craft Beer Test Kitchen Launch Parties
  • Behind-the-scenes private tour of the brewpub
  • Take your stein home or leave it at the brewpub for safekeeping until you return
  • One (1) year membership begins on the date of Portner Brewhouse grand opening. Annual renewal $25.



Getting Here

Portner Brewhouse is located at 5770 Dow Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304 (intersection of S. Pickett & S. Van Dorn Streets in the Modera Tempo Apartment Community)

Note: Dow Avenue is a new street and may not be recognized by all GPS programs. Alternative address for GPS use: 580 S. Van Dorn Street, Alexandria, VA 22304.




Vehicles are parked on premises in the underground garage otherwise reserved for residents only.



  • Located on the interior of the apartment complex with entrances on S. Van Dorn Street by Starbucks and two on S. Pickett Street
  • Free surface parking – 2 HOUR time limit enforced 8 am – 8 pm daily
  • TIP: If you park after 6 pm, you do not need to worry about the surface lot time limit OR… ask any staff member for a temporary visitor parking pass! (NEW!) 

Temp Parking

Modera Tempo Entrance Map

  • Street Parking on S. Pickett Street – No time limit and available until either 11 pm or Midnight daily
  • Pickett Street Shops Parking Lot located across Pickett street from Portner Brewhouse – 4 hour time limit



Van Dorn Metro Station (Blue/Yellow Lines) is about 0.5 miles from Portner Brewhouse. Upon exiting the station on foot, turn left onto Metro Road (uphill towards Eisenhower Ave). Turn right at Eisenhower and walk to S. Van Dorn Street, turn right. Walk along S. Dorn Street (northbound) until you reach Portner Brewhouse.

Modera Tempo also operates a FREE SHUTTLE during weekday rush hour that runs from the Van Dorn Metro to the apartment complex – catch a free ride! Visitors welcome to ride, no ID required.

Shuttle Blue


The AT1, AT5, & AT8 Dash Bus routes service the stop located just outside the Portner Brewhouse front door. The AT8 route connects Old Town Alexandria with the West End.


Bicycle racks are available outside the building on either S. Pickett Street or Dow Avenue. Please remember to lock all items when unattended.


In the spirit of responsible enjoyment, we encourage all our guests to return home safely. Popular ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft are readily available. New to ridesharing? Receive a discounted or free first trip by using the promo codes below:

UberUse code FEELING 22 to receive your first trip free up to $22

Lyft –  Use code LYFTON25 to get $25 in Lyft Credit to use on your first 5 rides.