Northern California’s Camp Fire, which started Nov. 8 and was not contained until Nov. 28, burned 153,336 acres, killed 85 people and displaced thousands. Among the communities affected was Chico, California, home of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
In response to the destruction, Sierra Nevada announced plans to brew Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, with 100 percent of the sales going to the company’s Camp Fire Relief Fund. The company invited breweries across the nation to participate in the fundraiser. Among many others, Ska Brewing Co. answered.
According to Sierra Nevada’s Resilience IPA website, Ska is one of more than 1,400 breweries brewing nearly identical beers and donating their profits to the program.
Several of Ska’s employees previously worked at Sierra Nevada or had family in the Camp Fire area, including Jeff Mason, Ska’s plant manager, who lived in Chico and worked at Sierra Nevada for more than 25 years.
“I’m from that area and have family that lost all of their material possessions in that fire,” he said.
Around 10 percent of Sierra Nevada’s 1,050 employees lost their homes in the fire.
“In Durango, we had our own fire issues this summer, and I think a lot of us were really affected,” said Dave Thibodeau, president and co-founder of Ska. “For a number of reasons, I think there’s a lot of personal attachments to what these people are going through in Northern California.”
“We would have done something anyway just because that’s the kind of company that Ska is,” Mason said. “We’ve been looking for some way to help others out, especially with the great support in the craft-brewing community with the 416 Fire.”
Ska brewed seven barrels of the Resilience IPA on Nov. 27 (Giving Tuesday), and the beer will be tapped Dec. 15 – the same day the other breweries tap theirs. The beer will be available on draft at the brewery, 225 Girard St., while supplies last.
Each brewery’s Resilience IPA should be nearly identical to Sierra Nevada’s original, with two-row pale and caramel hops, and Cascade and Centennial hops – “old-school, West Coast IPA hops,” Mason said.
“It’s all the exact same recipe.”
All of the raw material suppliers donated the brew’s ingredients.
“There’s not too many better ways than buying a beer to help,” Mason said.