Sierra Nevada Brewing exterior

Milwaukee Breweries Join Sierra Nevada’s Wildfire Relief Effort

The Northern California brewery reached out to fellow brewers in the name of charity, the response to its Resilience IPA project was staggering.

The craft beer community is exceptional at being altruistic. Events that benefit others aren’t unusual among breweries and beer lovers. But the scale of the effort put on by Sierra Nevada Brewing this week is pretty amazing.

Ken Grossman of Sierra Nevada
Ken Grossman, founder of Sierra Nevada (Photo courtesy of Sierra Nevada)

The brewery based in Chico, California, is crafting a new beer, Resilience Butte County Proud IPA (set for nationwide release in late December). One hundred percent of the sales of the beer will benefit the Camp Fire Relief Fund, which was set up by the brewery to help reconstruct areas affected by the devastating wildfire in the brewery’s home county.

So, that’s cool enough, right? It gets better.

Sierra Nevada is one of the pioneers of the craft beer industry and still has plenty of influence in the brewing community. Founder Ken Grossman reached out to breweries across the country, asking them to participate in the charitable brewing project.

Here’s how it works: Sierra Nevada works with suppliers to provide the malts, hops and yeast to participating brewers. In turn, the brewers create the beer, serve it in their taprooms and donate the proceeds to the fund as well.

The response was overwhelming and a testament to how much of a community the craft beer industry really is. More than 1,000 breweries – 1,000! – are taking part, and each of the 50 states is represented. Homebrewers can also brew a batch using the recipe posted on the American Homebrewers Association website.

It’s not at all surprising that as of Tuesday, (the day Sierra Nevada and others brewed the beer) there were 17 Wisconsin breweries signed up to participate. A fair amount of locals are in the mix with Good City Brewing, Explorium Brewpub, Milwaukee Brewing Company, Third Space Brewing, Component Brewing and Water Street Brewery all committed to brewing Resilience IPA and pouring it in their taprooms in December.

“I personally wanted to participate because I used to hike in the Chico/Paradise area when I lived in California, usually followed by a stop in the Sierra taproom, so the devastation from the fire hit pretty close to home for me,” says Good City head brewer Andy Jones. “We brewed yesterday, and will begin serving it the week of Dec. 17. Sierra provided the recipe, and Malteurop is donating the malt for our brew.”

Added MKE Brewing’s Hannah Falk: “The Resilience IPA campaign allows us to help build and support a future for the Butte community even from many miles away. Resilience IPA was brewed yesterday (Tuesday) by David Richard at the Milwaukee Ale House. We are expecting it go on tap Dec. 7 and will donate 100 percent of sales to the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund.”

Resilience IPA is being made with Centennial and Cascade hops. The light amber brew should register around 7 percent ABV and have a traditional citrus and pine flavor. Look for it to be flowing from local taps in December. Know that your purchase is helping those who need support, and also know that your local brewery took the time to make it. Cheers!



Dan Murphy has been reviewing bars for Milwaukee Magazine for roughly 20 years. He’s been doing his own independent research in them for a few years more.