Port City Brewing turns a power outage into Derecho Common Beer

Most people in the Washington area would like to forget this summer's derecho storm. But one local brewery decided to celebrate it.

Alexandria-based Port City Brewing Company is untapping it's new Derecho Common Beer, a brew born from a mishap when the power went down.

"My house was out of power, so I came over here to check on things early Saturday morning and saw that obviously that the power was out here and that we had lost control of the temperature of the beer," says Bill Butcher, owner of the brewing company.

It's a critical step in the brewing process. Temperature can change the flavor, even the type of beer. When this batch, originally a lager, rose to 65 degrees, it transformed into a type of brew called a 'common beer.'

Butcher says it was a lucky break for the 18-month-old company.

"If we had had to dump that tank out, it would have cost us over $20,000."

And Butcher says this isn't just a keg full of commemorative beer. It's a symbol of what can happen when a community sticks together.

He says when his power went down, locals rallied, offering generators and power sources.

"I think this storm affected all of us in some way. and everybody had to kind of look out for each other. and it was a common issue everyone was struggling with."

Today, a common issue becomes a hoppy, citrus-flavored, common beer.