On June 29, 2012, a wild thunderstorm known as a “derecho” whipped through the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest, destroying homes and businesses, and leaving millions without power. Alexandria was no different—lights went out across the city, which down in the West End’s Port City Brewing Co. meant 13,000 gallons of beer were in jeopardy. But thanks to Port City’s quick-thinking (and a yummy beer-type already established in California), one of the tanks not only survived, but was transformed into an entirely new (and delicious) brew.
Alexandria’s own Port City Brewing Co. is famous throughout the region for starting the now bustling craft brew scene in DC, and for concocting award-winning beer after only three years in operation. So it’s no surprise that when they lost power in 2012 and their Downright Pilsner fermented at a higher temperature than expected, PCBC’s founder Bill Butcher got creative and recognized the botched beer as a “steam beer.” Port City quickly renamed the new brew “Derecho Common,” which is now available seasonally around the time the derecho first hit the East Coast. Sounds a little wild, no? Check out the video to learn how the “Derecho Common” was first brewed from Bill Butcher himself.
Learn more about Port City Brewing Co. and where to taste the beer here.