Coming Soon: Derecho Beer

Power outages caused a batch of beer to ferment differently


A local brewery is making lemonade out of lemons. Um, if the lemonade was beer.

Last week's power outages caused a batch of beer at Alexandria's Port City Brewing Company to ferment differently than expected.

It turned out like a style of beer known as California common. Now they're going to bottle and sell a limited edition beer called Derecho Common, named after the storm that knocked out their power.

Port City founder Bill Butcher has an open letter up on, which reads in part:

Five of our six tanks appear to be just fine. The 6th tank is a 60-barrel batch of lager beer that fermented at a higher temperature than we intended.

There is a beer style that developed in San Francisco called steam beer, or California Common beer. It is a beer made with lager yeast and fermented at higher temperatures like an ale. This is exactly what happened to this 60-barrel tank of our beer.

As a result, this storm has given us Derecho Common beer.

The new beer will be available in early August, on draft only. It's definitely a limited edition -- only about 120 kegs will be available. They'll be sold only to bars and restaurants in the D.C. area.

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