Three Vancouver businesses have joined a fundraising campaign to aid victims of the Camp Fire in Northern California. Trap Door Brewing, Brothers Cascadia Brewing and Great Western Malting will help with a nationwide effort to brew batches of Sierra Nevada Brewing’s “Resilience IPA” and donate the proceeds.
Sierra Nevada Brewing, which is headquartered in Chico, Calif., was forced to close its brewery and taproom for three days as the fire edged nearer to the city. A Nov. 9 Instagram post announcing the brewery’s closure included photos taken from outside the brewery, showing light from the fire visible on the horizon and thick smoke filling the air.
The fire began in the Feather River Canyon near Paradise, Calif., on Nov. 8 and spread rapidly, causing massive damage in a matter of hours and prompting evacuations in Paradise, Chico and other nearby cities. The fire is now the most destructive in California’s history. Firefighters announced on Sunday that the blaze was 100 percent contained.
After reopening, the company announced it would work with the Golden Valley Bank to create the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund, with an initial $100,000 contribution supplied by the brewery. The funding will be distributed to organizations working to rebuild the community.
The company later announced it also plans to brew and release a new beer called Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, with 100 percent of proceeds donated to the Camp Fire Relief Fund.
Owner and co-founder Ken Grossman posted a letter in which he invited breweries across the county to join in brewing Resilience and donating the proceeds, and offered to supply them with the recipe and point-of-sale supplies with Resilience branding such as tap handles and coasters.
The company also posted a scaled-down version of the recipe for any home brewers interested in participating.
“We know that the rebuilding process will take time, but we’re in this for the long haul,” Grossman wrote in a letter to brewers. “Our hope is to get Resilience IPA in taprooms all over the country to create a solid start for our community’s future.”
More than 1,000 breweries had signed up as of Nov. 27, according to a list on Sierra Nevada’s website, with a number of Washington and Oregon breweries participating, including Trap Door Brewing in downtown Vancouver and Brothers Cascadia Brewing in Hazel Dell.
Trap Door’s founders have roots in Northern California, so the decision to sign up was an easy one.
“Our head brewer and co-owner, Zane, grew up in the Sacramento area. As such, the Camp Fire and its impact on friends and neighbors hits very close to home for all of us at Trap Door,” the company wrote last week on its Facebook page.
Trap Door co-owner Bryan Shull said his brewery will team up with Brothers Cascadia to brew a full batch of 15 barrels to be sold at both companies’ taprooms. The batch will be brewed at Trap Door with staff from both breweries on site to help out, according to Brothers Cascadia co-founder Jason Bos.
“It’s just a matter of getting it into our schedule – the sooner the better,” Shull said.
Vancouver-based Great Western Malting is one of seven malt suppliers that have pledged to supply participating breweries with the necessary ingredients for the Resilience batch, free of charge. Five hop suppliers have made a similar pledge.
Great Western has previously supplied free malted barley for a number of other charitable brewing causes, according to President Mike O’Toole – including a Pink Boots Campaign last year to benefit women in the brewing industry and a charity brew to raise money after the Columbia River Gorge fire. So the decision to help out didn’t take long after Sierra Nevada reached out two weeks ago.
The scale of this campaign is larger than any Great Western has joined in the past, O’Toole said, estimating an average batch of the Resilience IPA would require about 60 pounds of malt to brew. He said the company would be able to supply brewers throughout the country from its ten regional warehouses.
“I would suggest it’s not going to be too onerous in terms of volume, but it’ll add up,” he said.
Great Western Malting also plans to make a direct $25,000 contribution to the relief fund in the coming days, O’Toole said, once it receives corporate approval.
Sierra Nevada’s own Resilience batch was scheduled to be brewed on Tuesday, with the goal of putting it on store shelves within two months. O’Toole said he expects most of the other breweries to produce their batches within the next couple of months in order to start getting the proceeds to the relief fund.
“They’re wanting to get some support and help down there soon, given recent events,” he said. “It’s been pretty devastating.”
)2018 The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.)
Visit The Columbian (Vancouver, Wash.) at www.columbian.com
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