Buy These New Jersey Craft Beers, Help California Wildfire Victims

This article, by Peter Culos, appeared in Jersey Bites on December 3.

Two-hundred-forty square miles. That’s just more than half an average-size New Jersey county. It’s also the territory consumed by the Camp Fire in California. Over 80 people have perished with more than 500 unaccounted for. Approximately 19,000 structures are in ashes.

What do these sobering stats have to do with beer in New Jersey?

Last month we gave you the story of Friends Giving, a local effort to aide food insecurity in New Jersey, which was initiated by Double Nickel Brewing (Pennsauken). This month, to aid with rebuilding in the aftermath of the Camp Fire, California’s Sierra Nevada Brewing (Chico, CA) has taken a similar concept and rolled out nationwide.

Not only are they brewing Resilience Butte County Proud IPA and donating 100% of the profits to a Camp Fire Relief Fund, which they set up, but they are inviting suppliers and breweries across the nation to participate, too. On their website, owner Ken Grossman states, “We are working with malt, hop and yeast suppliers to provide raw ingredient donations to all participating breweries, that sign up prior to December 7, and are asking those breweries to donate 100 percent of their sales to the fund as well.”

Label art for Sierra Nevada Resilience Butte County Proud IPA (courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing)

Helping Hands

Almost 1,300 breweries have joined the cause so far. As of this writing, 15 New Jersey breweries are participating and many of them are listed below. No doubt more will join the effort. Sierra Nevada is keeping a tally sorted by state here.

The craft beer community can be irreverent and prickly at times, but it has always been quick to embrace a worthy cause. Superstorm Sandy is not so far behind us that we have forgotten what it’s like to endure a natural disaster: the scars are with us yet.

All you have to do to help is have a beer. Or two.