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Port City ale inspired by local urban legend to return next week

Alexandria brewery Port City Brewing is bringing back an ale next week at an event that marks the anniversary of one of the city’s most famous urban legends: the Female Stranger.

The event is scheduled for next Thursday, Oct. 14, from 3-9 p.m. at Port City Brewing (3950 Wheeler Avenue). For every 16 oz pour, the brewery said $1 will be donated to the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum (134 N Royal Street).

Long Black Veil, which first debuted in 2014, makes its annual return at the event to coincide with the anniversary of the Female Stranger’s death in 1816.

Long story short: a woman arrived sick on a ship in 1816 and her husband swore the local doctor to secrecy about their identity — only inscribing “Female Stranger” on her gravestone after she died in Gadsby’s Tavern on October 14, 1816. Today, visitors still leave flowers at her grave and it’s rumored that she haunts Gadsby’s Tavern. There’s endless speculation about who the Female Stranger was, including suggestions that she may have been Theodosia Burr.

The ale, at least in past years, has been described as piney with citrusy hops that mingle with notes of coffee and dark chocolate, according to the kind of people who describe beers like that. The event is also planned to include a Rocklands Barbeque food truck.

“So toast to the Female Stranger, Alexandria’s most famous urban legend, at Port City Brewing Co, Alexandria’s most famous brewery!” the brewery said in a press release. “Staff of the Museum will be there to tell the tale… and perhaps the famous lady will make an appearance at some point in the evening.”

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