In this article taken from the Winter 2019 issue of Beer & Brewer, Homebrewer editor Chris Thomas looked at an amazing story of support in the brewing and homebrewing community.
The brewing community is generally a sharing, loving and happy place. At times it goes even further to become damn inspiring.
Take Sierra Nevada and the bush fires that ravaged their home territory of California in November last year. In 24 hours, more than 13,000 homes were destroyed. More devastatingly, 85 people lost their lives. It was a tragedy that many Californians continue to live with everyday.
It would be easy for an enormously successful brewery like Sierra Nevada to just worry about their bottom line. But that’s not how they operate. Despite being one of the most successful craft breweries in the world, Sierra Nevada have not lost touch with who they are and where they are from. About 50 Sierra Nevada employees lost their homes.
In direct response to these fires, Sierra Nevada went on a fundraising campaign unlike any other. They publicly shared an IPA recipe and encouraged breweries around the world to brew this beer and donate all profits from it to the victims of the Californian fires.
They also encouraged breweries to seek donated ingredients for this beer from local suppliers to help share the cost of making the brew. They called this campaign Resilience. Initially they were hopeful that about 200 breweries would sign up and contribute.
So far over 1400 breweries from America and around the world have brewed Resilience IPA, all donating their proceeds to the Sierra Nevada Campfire Relief Fund.
The Bayside Brewers
It wasn’t just commercial breweries who felt compelled to give. The Bayside Brewers in Melbourne were touched by the fundraising effort and found a way to contribute themselves. Following the lead of the commercial breweries, they sought ingredients from local homebrew shops.
Cryer Malt donated the base malt, Clever Brewing donated the crystal malt, Beerco provided the bittering hops, while Grain & Grape donated the flavour and aroma hops, and Kegland donated all the cubes. While they couldn’t bottle and sell their beer, they were able to make and sell fresh wort kits to raise funds. This is exactly what the did.
They brewed over 900 litres on the club’s ‘Monster’ Brewing system and sold cubes to their club members so they are now drinking their own Resilience IPA. In the process, the Bayside Brewers raised AU$1200 and donated one hundred percent of that money to the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund.
“By brewing this beer, with the help of our club sponsors, it shows that even in Melbourne Australia, our club cares about our brewing brothers and sisters in the USA,” said the club’s vice president Craig Ditcham. “By raising money for charity, we can feel good while drinking a glass of this IPA, and show the rest of Australia that we are an active, community minded club.”
The selfless act of the Westside Brewers didn’t go unnoticed by Sierra Nevada, who responded directly to the Bayside Brewers. “We thank you for your support. Our community is blown away by the outpouring from the brewing community,” they wrote.
This IPA uses both Cascade and Centennial at various times to create a beautiful IPA. A newworld hop bomb, rather it’s a more traditional American IPA. The sort that you can sip and feel pretty good about what you’ve made and the story behind it. Enjoy.