Most beer drinkers by now know about Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s initiative to bring together breweries across the nation to support those impacted by the wildfires that ravaged California.
More than 1,400 breweries, including many local ones, raised their brew paddles to join the effort and brew a special beer recipe provided by Sierra Nevada. The result, Resilience Butte Country Proud IPA, hits taps this week.
Sierra Nevada named Thursday, Dec. 20, “Resilience Night,” making it the official release date for the beer. A few local breweries are set to release on Thursday, while others have either released theirs or will release it later this week.
Why #ResilienceIPA matters
In case you missed it, here’s a quick refresher on what this initiative is all about.
Sierra Nevada developed the concept to create a beer dedicated to raising funds for those affected by the California wildfires. To increase their fundraising capabilities, they put out a call to breweries across the country to join in. Sierra Nevada provided participating breweries with the same recipe and even offered to donate ingredients if the breweries would give 100 percent of sales to the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund.
It didn’t take much convincing, as brewery after brewery jumped on board to help.
“For me, I was honored to do anything to help Sierra Nevada,” said Bruce Tanner, head brewer at Ever Grain Brewing Co. who collaborated on a version with Millworks Brewery and Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. “When they reached out, I knew we had to do this because not only is it a great cause, they jump-started this whole industry, and none of us would have the jobs we do without them.”
What you’re drinking
Now that you’re caught up, it’s time to drink the beer we’ve been hearing about for the last few weeks.
Resilience IPA is a standard American-style IPA. There’s nothing flashy here like added fruit or hard-to-find experimental hops.
“It’s an IPA that has a bitterness that harkens back to what a standard IPA would be like 10 years ago,” said Jeff Musselman, brewmaster at Millworks.
The recipe is pretty basic. It’s a simple malt bill with Pale 2-Row malt as the base and a bit of Caramel malt for flavor and color. Sierra Nevada went very traditional with the hop selection with Centennial and Cascade both in the boil and dry-hop.
“It’s going to be a typical West Coast IPA,” said Derek Wolf, brewmaster for Wolf Brewing Co. “It’s going to have a sweet-dry body from the malt and resiny, citrusy bitterness with notes of grapefruit, lemon, and orange.”
While all breweries were sent the same recipe, it doesn’t mean that every beer will taste the same.
For instance, Musselman said they had to tone down the hops a bit for their version.
“If we brewed to the exact recipe it would be a bitter bomb,” said Musselman. “I know how my system works, so we had to back off a little on the hop dosage they provided in the recipe.”
This is not an “if you’ve had one, you’ve had them all” beer, but they also won’t be vastly different.
“I expect them to have similar flavors, but it’s going to be interesting to taste the nuances from brewery to brewery with aspects like house yeast to water,” said Wolf.
Make your plans
Some breweries went at it on their own, while others joined forces with local brewing friends for a day of collaboration.
Tröegs Independent Brewing already has their Resilience on tap, and it is slightly lighter in color and a touch less bitter than the standard recipe.
Tröegs also decided to customize the hop bill with the addition of Chinook hops for a more pronounced pine flavor with a hint of spice on the end.
“A fellow brewer asked for help, so we did. It’s as simple as that,” said John Trogner, co-owner and brewmaster at Tröegs. “We’re glad to be part of a community that can mobilize so many people in so little time to do a good thing.”
Zeroday Brewing Co.’s version hits their taproom in Midtown on Thursday, Dec. 20, and Theo Armstrong, ZerØday’s brewmaster, said they kept theirs in line with the given recipe.
“I expect it to come out as a classic West Coast IPA,” said Armstrong. “It might be a bit maltier than I would normally brew, but the Crystal malt should give it a nice bready flavor.”
Since Wolf doesn’t have a taproom yet, they will be adding an additional donation on top of what Big Bottom and 2050 State raise.
The Millworks, Ever Grain and Molly Pitcher collab is set to hit all three breweries on Thursday, Dec. 20 right on schedule for Resilience Night.
“When we got the email, I was texting with Jon and Mike about how we wanted to do this, and we kept adding breweries in,” said Dain Shirey, co-owner and marketing at St. Boniface. “Then we thought, why not just invite everyone?”
Shirey said that the beer will be on tap at all 18 breweries that participated in the collaboration. St Boniface taps their brew Saturday, Dec. 22, and Shirey said he expects the other breweries to do the same, if not in the following days.
- St. Boniface Craft Brewing Co.
- Twisted Bine Brewing Co.
- Cox Brewing Co.
- Fetish Brewing Co.
- Moo-Duck Brewery
- Columbia Kettle Works
- Union Barrel Works
- Spring House Brewing Co.
- Wacker Brewing Co.
- Mad Chef Craft Brewing
- Black Forrest Brewing Co.
- Pour Man’s Brewing Co.
- Lancaster Brewing Co.
- Funk Brewing Co.
- Bube’s Brewery
- Stoudts Brewing Co.
- Iron Hill Brewing Co. (Lancaster)
- Pig Iron Brewing
No matter where you’re drinking Resilience IPA, you’re supporting a great cause. Now that the fires are under control, the families impacted by the natural disaster can start to heal, regroup, and persevere, and the donations from breweries across the country are going to have a major impact on the relief efforts.