Aug 14, 2013

Port City Derecho Common

In July of 2012, Virginia was hit pretty hard with by a derecho — a fierce, straight-line wind storm — that knocked out power for nearly 500,000 residents (including me) and businesses for several days. One of those businesses was Alexandria’s Port City Brewing. The brewery was in the process of making a lager when they lost power and ultimately control of the beer’s temperature. Instead of dumping the product, Port City decided to brew with the higher temperature. The result was aptly named Derecho Common, based on the California Common or steam style of beer.

Well, the beer was so popular last year, that Port City decided to purposefully brew up a fresh batch of Derecho Common for this Summer. Having missed the beer a year ago, I was excited to finally see many six packs of it at local retailers. Had I had several bottle of Derecho Common last year when the power went out, this 4.8% ABV beer would have made the miserable experience that much more tolerable.


Derecho Common pours a golden in color with a large, billowy crown of white foam.


Lemony citrus, leafy hops, light grapefruit, grain and biscuity malt fill the nose smoothly.


The beer brings a decent amount of hop character to the palate with hints of lemon zest, light grapefruit and grass, as well as a moderate-to-high level of bitterness. Soft grains and subtle malt sweetness form late as the beer transitions to a semi-dry and lasting finish. The beer is darn near quaffable.


Derecho Common is a tasty little brew born out of circumstances that I’m sure many would like to forget. Port City, however, continue to celebrate the events — community support and volunteers — that spawned this beer in the first place. I would love for them to bring it back as a seasonal release each year. Perhaps I’ll even retire to the basement family room with the lights off and enjoy a bottle or too as I did with other sudsy treats in July of 2012. Or maybe, I’ll just sit outside in the great weather and enjoy a darn good beer.

Rating: 3.75/5

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