In the wake of the horrific Northern California wildfires that decimated parts of Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, some of our breweries are doing something about it, helping to raise money for those who’ve lost everything and many others who have been affected by this still-unfolding tragedy. A couple of years ago, Vinnie Cilurzo, at Russian River Brewing created the label “Sonoma Pride” for a series of beers. They’ve done two releases — Amasa and Dauenhauer — so far (one each year) and have given recent event have decided instead to call this year’s beer simply “Sonoma Pride” and “100% of the sale of this beer will donated directly to this fundraising effort.” They’re working with the King Ridge Foundation and on October 31, they will release the new Sonoma Pride beer at Russian River Brewery and select retail outlets. You can also sign up to be notified by email when it’s released. They’re also accepting direct donations on the Sonoma Pride website and have launched a line-jumping offer for next year’s Pliny the Younger release in February. For every $25 donated, “you’ll be entered into one or more chances to win line cutting privileges to the 2018 Pliny the Younger release at Russian River Brewery.”
And that’s just the beginning. Bear Republic Brewing, has also announced they’ll be joining that effort. Here’s the draft press release that will be released early next week (so it may change a little):
Bear Republic Brewing Company is proud to be joining forces with Russian River Brewing and the King Ridge Foundation, and will be brewing a Bear Republic version for the Sonoma Pride release. We are a little late to this effort because our starships are running on impulse power.
We are are currently working on additional collaborations to be brewed with other Sonoma County breweries to support the victims and firefighters of the 2017 Sonoma County wildfires.
Bear Republic will be supplying ingredients and manpower to St. Florian’s Brewery in a mutual aid effort to brew another version of Sonoma Pride. We are currently working on the details with 101 North Brewing for a similar collaboration, with the efforts supporting the rehabilitation of Cardinal Newman High School, the alma mater of the brewmasters of 101 North and Bear Republic.
Many of the BRBC family members have lost their homes and have little to rely on. For the next 30 days, 50 cents on every case of Bear Republic beer sold will be donated to raise funds to help those affected. We are reaching out to our wholesalers and asking for their support through matching funds up to 50 cents per case or a one time donation.
Many of our distributors nationwide also committing to this cause, making it a truly national effort.
As we are coming together to support this cause, we ask that you consider supporting one of our own. Bear Republic’s Head Brewer Rob and his wife Cami, both employees of Bear Republic, lost their home recently to the fires. While there are many people in the same boat out there, anything will help in supporting them. Please donate if you can at GoFundMe.
Bear Republic’s brewpubs will be offering FREE MEALS to the first responders involved with the local fires at both restaurant locations in Healdsburg and Rohnert Park, California.
Thank you for your continued support, kind words, and prayers during these difficult times.
But wait, there’s more. I’ve also heard from Derek Drennan and Robert Raney, owners of Sonoma Springs Brewing Co.
They’ve also been in contact with Russian River Brewing, and will brew a beer under the “Sonoma Pride” label in the coming weeks, donating the proceeds to local relief charities. And in November, Sonoma Springs will go forward with their planned event, which they began in 2015, to honor and raise funds for local firefighters, specifically the Sonoma Fire Association, with a beer dedicated to them, Sotttile Double Red Ale.
Sonoma Springs will also hold its third annual Sottile Red release event in November (either the 4th of the 11th, depending on when we can get brewing again). This event, from its inception in September 2015, has raised funds for the Sonoma Firefighters Association. It commemorates the response led by the Sonoma Fire Department to put out a major fire in our building back in November 2014, which imperiled the completion of our current brewing facility. This year’s event will provide the community with an opportunity to thank all our local firefighter and first responder heroes who will undoubtedly appreciate such praise after the events of the past week. The beer will be available at the event in November and, for the first time, in cans that we plan to distribute across the north bay.
And that’s what I know so far, there will undoubtedly be additional efforts. I know, for instance, that Fogbelt Brewing will be doing something, but haven’t decided yet what they’ll be doing. Likewise, HenHouse Brewing, which has stayed open through the week, has been announcing collaborations and special brews on their Facebook page, and raising money through the Redwood Credit Union, “a local institution working with our local State Senator to get funds to the right people. RCU did a similar donation portal for the Lake County Fire in 2015 and we know Senator Mike McGuire well, this is an excellent way to help.” For details, go to North Bay Fire Relief.
That’s what I know about so far, I’m sure there will be additional efforts in the coming days and weeks. I’ll update this page as new information becomes available. In the meantime, whenever possible, please support Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino county breweries by purchasing their beer at bars, restaurants, and stores wherever you live, and help the vibrant beer cultures in Northern California continue to thrive and grow.