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Georgia breweries, Sierra Nevada Brewing stepping up to help California wildfire victims
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The Resilience IPA will hit breweries and stores in late December, and all of the proceeds are being donated to Sierra Nevada’s Camp Fire relief fund. The brewery has seeded the fund with its own $100,000. Photo courtesy Sierra Nevada

Update, Nov. 5, 2019: 

Sierra Nevada announced Tuesday, Nov. 5, that its partnerships with breweries had raised $8.4 million for California residents affected by the Camp Fire.

The brewery partnered with beer brewers throughout the United States to sell Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, a special recipe crafted by Sierra Nevada and made public for brewers and homebrewers alike.

All of the funds will benefit those displaced or harmed by the huge 2018 fire. The announcement from the northern California brewery came just as the state is battling another round of extreme wildfires.

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Eleven Georgia beer makers are among more than 1,000 breweries chipping in to help Sierra Nevada raise money for victims of the Camp Fire wildfire ravaging California this fall.

The Grossman family, which owns and operates Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., has released a fundraiser beer — Resilience Butte County Proud IPA — to raise money for victims of the November fire.

Sierra Nevada is based in Chico, California, in eastern Butte County, one of the several suffering extreme damage from the wildfire. The company has an East Coast brewery in North Carolina.

Resilience Butte County Proud IPA from Sierra Nevada.

“Even though we are all living moment to moment trying to figure out who is safe and if our homes have been spared, the beauty of the human spirit still shines through,” wrote Ken, Sierra and Brian Grossman in a letter on Sierra Nevada’s website. “We have been flooded by offers of support, from a simple ‘I am here’ to generous offerings of financial and physical support. There are many opportunities — both immediate and long-term — to help those affected.”

And 11 Georgia breweries are stepping up to help:

  • Left Nut Brewing Co. (Gainesville)

  • Scofflaw Brewing Co.(Atlanta)

  • Creature Comforts Brewing Co. (Athens)

  • Jailhouse Brewing Co. (Hampton)

  • Macon Beer Co.

  • New Realm Brewing Co. (Atlanta)

  • Good Word Brewing and Public House (Duluth)

  • Terrapin ATL Brew Lab

  • SweetWater Brewing Co. (Atlanta)

  • The Southern Brewing Co. (Athens)

  • Variant Brewing Co. (Roswell)

A complete list of breweries that are contributing to the cause can be found here.

While it’s not on the list published by Sierra Nevada, Left Nut co-owner and operator Pap Datta told The Times his team plans to make a brewery-only batch that is likely to hit taps at the Atlanta Highway brewery in the new year.

You can also find participating breweries using this map.

The Resilience IPA will hit breweries and stores in late December, and all of the proceeds are being donated to Sierra Nevada’s Camp Fire relief fund. Sierra Nevada has seeded the fund with its own $100,000.

Individuals can also donate directly to the fund.

“Once the fire is out, we will distribute all donated money to partner organizations that are dedicated to rebuilding and supporting the communities that have been affected,” the family wrote.

Sierra Nevada is distributing the recipe for the beer to participating brewers, and it’s even come up with a recipe for homebrewers. The brewery is asking other beer makers to contribute 100 percent of the proceeds from sales of the recipe to the relief fund.

At Good Word Brewing, co-owner and head brewer Todd DiMatteo said it will be an honor to help the nation’s most well-known craft brewery.

“I cut my teeth on drinking craft beer from Sierra Nevada,” DiMatteo told The Times on Thursday, Nov. 29. “I still think Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is one of the best beers you can get your hands on.”

Along with Sierra Nevada’s recipe, participating breweries are getting shipments of malt and hops donated by wholesalers.

DiMatteo said it’s the first he’s ever heard of a collaborative fundraising project among breweries that includes brewing a common recipe. He noted that Sierra Nevada put the recipe out, but said other breweries are welcome to make their own tweaks.

“It’s not very common — some people are a little more guarded with their recipe development,” DiMatteo said. “I’m going to leave the recipe alone because Sierra Nevada kicks ass.”

As the worst fire in the state’s history, the Camp Fire has killed at least 88 people, and almost 200 people remain missing. The fire destroyed more than 14,000 homes and burned more than 150,000 acres.

Unlike controlled burns and other landscape-rejuvenating fires, the Camp Fire occurred during a drought and found enough fuel to cause intense, lasting damage to Northern California forests.

“These forests were in a record drought and have not been managed with controlled burns for many years,” wrote Campbell Vaughn in a column for The Times earlier this month about the wildfire. “Decades of leaf matter dried for months with no rain made it easy for a match to get a fire going in a hurry. The dry thick fuel matter made it too hot to control.”

The damage could affect California’s water supply, farmers and residents for years to come.

“We have a real challenge here, threatening our whole way of life,” said California Gov. Jerry Brown in a Nov. 12 news release. “It is a time of sadness, but also one to reflect on where we are and resolve to pull together and do everything we can to help those in need.”