If there's any silver lining to the storm and subsequent heat wave that's besieged the region as of late, it is this: new beer.
Upon losing power two weeks ago, Port City Brewing Co. in Alexandria came perilously close to losing 13,000 gallons of beer to spoilage. Careful monitoring (and a backup generator) kept it safe, but one tank of lager fermented at a higher temperature -- which is exactly how a particular style of steam beer known as California Common is brewed. Henceforth, this special batch, about 120 kegs in all, will be known as Derecho Common.
Brewery owner Bill Butcher describes the limited-edition beer as "a bit rounder in flavor" than a traditional lager with caramel and fruity characteristics and "a nice mouthfeel." Look for Derecho Common at venues including Evening Star Cafe, ChurchKey, Meridian Pint and Smoke and Barrel. A launch party is in the works for early August.
Butcher adds that, though the brewery is scrambling to get back up to normal operations, the staff has been heartened by the outpouring of support from local beer drinkers. "Just so many people wanted to know what they could do to help us," he told Yeas & Nays. Butcher even heard from a brewery in Washington state. "They were just sending positive thoughts," he said.