Port City Brewing releases Derecho Common beer

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – A local brewery that lost power during the derecho is getting sweet revenge on Mother Nature.

A batch of Port City Brewing Company‘s beer that the June storm threatened to ruin is finally ready to drink – and the early reviews are good.

The beer was originally supposed to be a pilsner, but it didn’t turn out that way.

“When we lost the ability to control the temperature, the temperature spiked up to around 60 degrees, 65 degrees, which was about 20 degrees higher than it was supposed to be,” says Bill Butcher, founder of Port City Brewing Company.

“It turned into a California Common beer, which is a lager that is fermented at these higher temperatures,” Butcher says.

The limited-edition beer, which is only available on draft, was made available to the public for the first time Friday afternoon at the brewery’s tasting room in Alexandria, Va.

Chuck Triplett, a regular customer from Centreville who has visited dozens and dozens of breweries all around the world, was the first person to get a taste.

“Yeah, you’ve got a winner,” Triplett says after sniffing and sipping.

He describes it as a hoppy beer with a lime finish.

Christy Johnson of Alexandria, another big beer fan who sometimes brews her own, also dropped by to try the derecho beer.

“My first impression was that it was a little too hoppy for me, but after I had a few sips I kind of got used to it and [it] sort of coated the mouth a little more,” Johnson says. “I actually really like it.”

The market debut of the beer happens Saturday at the Evening Star Cafe in Alexandria’s 15th Anniversary celebration from 12 to 5 p.m.

Butcher says next week, the company will begin distributing the beer to 40 or 50 other bars and restauraunts in the region. It may be available as soon as Tuesday.

It will also continue to be available at the brewery’s tasting room, where quite a few people were leaving with growlers full of it on Friday.

Just like the derecho itself, the Derecho Common beer won’t be around long. Only 120 kegs were made.

Follow Michelle Basch and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)