Well folks, it’s hot as heck here in DC, and summertime is firmly upon us. Wifey and I bought a ton of liquor to make Mai Tais, Dark and Stormys, Pimms Lemonades, and Manhattans, and are awaiting a few friends to mix up a party. Good thing I’ve still got a few Prefunc hangover drinks!
I think I’m going to go on a stretch of summer beer reviews over the next few weeks, but tonight I’ve cracked open the final bottle in a sixer of Port City’s Derecho Common. This beer has a great back story: last year Port City was in their normal brewing process when the terrible Derecho storms hit and they lost power for days, threatening a batch of their pilsner. When the brew hit 65 degrees, they turned it into a California-style common, and the Derecho common was born.
This year, Port City decided to replicate the recipe and release the Derecho Common as it’s own brew. And a funny thing happened – the night before their release party, a big storm swept through town…AND THEY LOST POWER AGAIN! I randomly stopped by Port City the night before the release getting a few growlers, and it was a pretty eerie but cool vibe. Regardless of the storm gods, the brew went on and we all got our Derecho Commons.
Back to the beer itself: I’m not too familiar with this brew style, but the Internet tells me it originated in California during the 1800’s when brewers without access to refrigeration used lager yeasts and warm temperatures to brew.
Derecho pours out a straw-yellow hazy color, with barely any foam crown and hints of lemon and sweet yeast on the aroma. Taste-wise, it’s a little indistinct. The main flavors I get are crisp and dry toasted malts up front, a hint of hoppy bitterness through the middle, and some hints of citrus toward the end.
This is probably about as well-balanced a brew you can buy – it’s really drinkable, pretty refreshing on a hot day, neither too hoppy nor too sweet, and lightweight with a 4.8% ABV. All in all, good not great, but worth trying if you’re trying to beat the heat in the DC area.