The tanks of the Port City Brewing Company in Alexandria after last year’s derecho. Owner Bill Butcher is shown with his son Key, 8, as the brewers salvaged beer after the company lost power in the storm. (Matt McClain – The Washington Post)

Craft beer, brewed in small batches in a variety of flavors and colors, is exploding in popularity in our area. This was made possible in part by a new law passed by the General Assembly last year which allowed breweries to sell their product for on-site consumption. The fine folks at Northern Virginia Magazine have continued to track the rapid spread of craft beer in our area, and now five new microbreweries are set to open in NoVa in the coming months, Zachary Westlake reports, led by Bad Wolf Brewing Company, which should open on Center Street in Manassas in mid-June.

And coming soon: Forge Brew Works on Terminal Road in Lorton; Crooked Run Brewery on Harrison Street in Leesburg; Beltway Brewing Company on Davis Drive in Sterling; and Adroit Theory Brewing Company on Browning Court in Purcellville. And there’s more — two more hoping to open by the fall are Old Ox Brewery in Loudoun and CasaNoVa Brewing Company in Arlington, and Portner Brewhouse is shooting for an opening in Old Town Alexandria next spring.

This adds to the already popular Lost Rhino Brewing Company in Ashburn, the very excellent Port City Brewing Company in Alexandria and the Corcoran Brewing Company in Waterford. And then there are the rapidly multiplying brew pubs, such as Capitol City in Shirlington and Rock Bottom in Ballston, MacDowell Brew Kitchen and Vintage 50 in Leesburg, the Sweetwater Taverns in Merrifield and Centreville, Gordon Biersch in Tysons Corner, the Mad Horse Brewery in Lovettsville, not to be confused with the Mad Fox Brewing Company in Falls Church. There are also the Dogfish Head Alehouses in Seven Corners and Chantilly, and while the beer isn’t brewed in NoVa, it is from Rehoboth Beach and emerged from the craft beer world.

For a full primer on craft beer, the best places to buy it, drink it and the vocabulary you need to hang with true beer junkies, Northern Virginia Magazine produced an excellent package last year which is here. And this very post contains more links to more quality beer joints than any other post known to man, so bookmark it or memorize it or print it out and save it for all your quality beer drinking needs.