The Camp Fire wildfire started on November 8, with a combination of high winds and dry grasses. These two events, combined with the initial difficult to reach location of the fire, turned a small incident into one of the deadliest fires in United States history. It covered 239 square miles, destroyed over 18,000 structures, and caused an estimated $8 billion dollars in damages. Families were displaced, businesses were destroyed, and Paradise, CA has rebuilding to do.
One of the businesses affected by this fire was the Sierra Nevada Brewery. One of the grand old breweries of the craft beer scene, they are located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains and fifteen minutes from where it began. Sixty employees, including founder Ken Grossman, were evacuated from the area. Fifty of those employees ended up losing their homes. Their brewery was spared, but Ken Grossman, founder and owner of Sierra Nevada, knew they had to something to help the community that has supported them for decades.
The need went well beyond what this brewery could handle, so Ken went beyond the walls of his brewery for a solution. A brewery they have a good relationship with, Russian River Brewing, worked with other local brewers to raise funds for a fire that hit their community. After a brief conversation with Russian River, Ken contacted friends in the craft beer community and asked them to help.
And help they did.
After the initial social media and email push, 200 breweries had signed up to brew Resilience Butte County IPA. Through word of mouth and the power of social media, that number currently sits just shy of 1,500 brewers. The planned amount of beer brewed will add up to 4.2 million pints, possibly raising over $15 million dollars. Suppliers donated malt and hops, brewers donated labor and fermenter space, and retailers offered to put it on their shelves. They did it all to help Butte County recover; 100% of the proceeds earned will go to a special fund started by Sierra Nevada. It is an overwhelming effort that was started on Giving Tuesday (November 27) and will culminate over the next few weeks in breweries around the country.
Resilience is based on another of their popular beers you can find this time of year, Celebration. Resilience utilizes the same Chinook, Cascade, and Centennial hops that Celebration does, but without the dry hopping and extra conditioning of its big brother. It was described as “a fresher form of Celebration.” We all know how IPA fans love a fresh hopped IPA, and this one has the added benefit of helping their community rebuild from the Camp Fire blaze.
Local Dayton breweries are donating their time and efforts to help Sierra Nevada in their quest to help the Chico/Paradise area recover. Community-owned Fifth Street Brewpub is one of the brewers lending their fermenters and labor to brew this special IPA. Keep an eye on their website and social media to see when it will be tapped. The other local brewery to put this on their tap is Crooked Handle Brewing Company in Springboro. They have it listed in their fermenter and plan on releasing it sometime during the week of January 7. Don’t want to wait that long? Sierra Nevada is sending out a limited run of cans all over the country. Those twelve packs should be hitting local stores during the week of Christmas.
Sierra Nevada designated December 20 as Resilience Night, when many brewers tapped Resilience IPA in their tap houses. Some breweries added it to their menu as early as December 15, and they tapping will go on through the month of January. You can find all of the places that will be serving it through Sierra Nevada’s website. You can even earn a special badge for trying this beer out through Untappd. With every pint and can you responsibly enjoy, know that you have made a donation by enjoying a West Coast style IPA that is helping a community recovering from a devastating natural event. Cheers!