After the Chestnut Knob Fire and other blazes scorched thousands of acres in western North Carolina two years ago, locals know how much of an impact wildfires can have on people and their communities.
With the Camp Fire having burned more than 150,000 acres, killed 88 civilians and destroyed more than 18,000 buildings around Butte County, California, this fall, Morganton’s Catawba Brewing Co., Valdese’s The Levee Brewery and Pub, and about 1,000 other breweries across the country have joined forces with Sierra Nevada to brew Resilience Butte County Proud IPA.
Catawba brewed its batch on Nov. 27, which was Giving Tuesday, at its Charlotte facility. The target timeline for the release of the beer on tap is mid-to-late-December. The Levee expects to brew its batch onsite in downtown Valdese this week, after some finishing touches to the tanks and arrival of ingredients, and have it available for purchase in three weeks or so.
Normally, such fundraisers might donate $1 per pint, but 100 percent of sales from this beverage will go toward wildfire relief at all participating establishments.
Clair Greear, the social media manager and marketing assistant for Catawba, said brewery owners Billy, Scott and Jetta Pyatt have friends at Sierra Nevada and were asked to participate in the relief effort.
"Catawba Brewing is proud to participate in the Resilience IPA fundraiser project in partnership with over 1,000 craft breweries across the country,” said Catawba Marketing Director Brian Ivey in a release. “Giving back to our local communities is near the top of the Catawba mission statement, and we're happy to help Sierra Nevada give back to theirs by donating 100 percent of our Resilience IPA sales to the Camp Fire Relief Fund."
"Sierra Nevada has been a great partner for all of us in the Asheville Brewer's Alliance, and we appreciate their efforts organizing this project to support communities in California as they begin the rebuilding process."
Peter Skelton, owner of The Levee, said he is a member of a national brewers’ association and learned of Sierra Nevada’s effort through an email from that organization.
“I read a little bit about it and saw that Sierra Nevada were the ones coordinating it,” he said. “I thought this is a great way to get involved.
“It’s been very important to get involved. One of the reasons I started the business in the location I did is because pubs are supposed to be centered around the community. I’m English and pubs are very much a social hub in communities, and they can be in the U.S., as well. We’ve got a nice little small-town community. That’s one of the things I like so much about it here is people are friendly and always willing to lend a hand whenever people are in need.”
According to information from Catawba, the beer is a classic west coast IPA, pale and caramel malts, and hopped with cascade and centennial with a recipe created by Sierra Nevada, which has lots of experience in that style, according to a release. It is 6.7 percent alcohol by volume and 70 IBUs.
Skelton said Sierra Nevada is helping breweries obtain the ingredients for the special IPA. He said that the brewers involved know the beer will be good because it’s Sierra Nevada, and the process will allow brewers to do what they love and support a good cause at the same time.
To learn more about Resilience Butte County Proud IPA and to see a map and list of all the participating breweries, visit sierranevada.com/resilience-butte-county-proud-ipa.
Catawba Brewing Co. is located at 212 S. Green St. in downtown Morganton and The Levee Brewery and Pub can be found at 118 Main St. W. in downtown Valdese.
Justin Epley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-432-8943.