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Sierra Nevada’s Resilience IPA

Resilience. Webster defines it as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” The Camp Fire that spread through Butte County, California beginning on November 8, 2018, was more than just misfortune; it was the most destructive and deadliest California wildfire to date. It also took top dishonor as the world’s costliest 2018 natural disaster as insurance estimates are in the realm of $10 billion.

Full containment of the fire took 17 days and during that time it scorched over 153,000 acres, destroyed 13,000 homes and another 6,000 buildings, and killed at least 85 individuals. Everyone in that region knew someone who was affected. Air pollution was horrendous with additional concerns around toxic chemicals such as VOCs, asbestos, and heavy metals being distributed, or minimally, affecting the burned areas. The smoke was carried on high winds as far as the eastern seaboard of the United States.

In the face of such a natural disaster, many of us would probably feel a sense of hopelessness. While the 5,000+ firefighters battled the blaze, the Grossman family and their brewery, Sierra Nevada, desired to extend a hand and help those who were impacted. They set up the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund to provide for long-term support for those affected. The Fund, which was supported through the Golden Valley Bank Community Foundation, was established with $100,000 from the brewery.

However large $100,000 might seem, it still paled in comparison to the monetary damage that Camp Fire caused. Enter Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, a fundraising beer from which 100% of sales would further supplement the relief fund. Ken Grossman was hoping for 200 breweries to lend a helping brew.

200 breweries was rapidly surpassed. As of the writing of this article, nearly 1,500 breweries have participated in the endeavor, which constitutes about 20% participation rate of US-based breweries. Several international breweries from the United Kingdom, Germany, and Guam have also participated. With the substantial number of breweries contributing 100% of sales of the beer to the Camp Fire Relief Fund, it’s estimated that $15 million will be raised.

The participating brewery demographic is quite diverse as well. In the list, you’ll find many of the largest craft breweries in the United States like Stone, Bell’s, Deschutes, Sam Adam’s, New Belgium, Brooklyn, and Dogfish Head. But you’ll also find some of your local watering holes as well. In my own 25-mile area, 16 breweries participated (for a complete listing of participating breweries go to http://sierranevada.com/resilience-butte-county-proud-ipa).

But the raw ingredients for Resilience had to come from somewhere on someone’s dime. To help with that, Sierra Nevada asked their suppliers to donate ingredients and for wholesalers and retailers to carry the beer and donate every dollar they received. Even though it was a big ask, everyone graciously followed through. Malt was donated by BSG, Canada Malting, Country Malt Group, Great Western Malting, Malteurop, Rahr, Briess, Cargill, and Admiral Maltings. And we’re not talking about a couple hundred of pounds. For instance, Country Malt Group donated 70 metric tons of malt, which has been valued at more than $100,000. This allowed 220 breweries to brew their batches of Resilience. Many hop suppliers also got involved. Hops from CLS Farms, Crosby Hop Farm, Haas, Hopsteiner, and Yakima Chief Hops were donated to breweries.

In all, Resilience Butte County Proud IPA hit the market in late December and into the new year with more than 17,000 barrels produced — or 4.2 million pints — strong. Every dollar Sierra Nevada receives will go to those impacted by the Camp Fire. If you didn’t get the chance to savor it, the following recipe will provide you with a chance to make it at home. And while you’re brewing the beer, we strongly urge you to make a donation to the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund at: https://www.goldenvalley.bank/Community-Foundation.aspx

“We appreciate the tremendous amount of support and compassion shown from folks around the world. With the brave men and women risking their lives fighting this fire and the outpouring of support from communities near and far, we know we are on a path to healing and rebuilding.” —
The Grossman Family of Ken, Sierra, and Brian.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Resilience Butte County Proud IPA clone

(5 gallons/19 L, all-grain — recipe configured to BYO recipe standards)
OG = 1.065 FG = 1.016
IBU = 64 SRM = 12 ABV = 6.5%

Ingredients
12.5 lbs. (5.7 kg) Rahr 2-row pale malt
1.25 lbs. (0.57 kg) Crisp crystal malt (60 °L)
8 AAU Centennial hops (80 min.) (0.8 oz./23 g at 10% alpha acids)
8 AAU Centennial hops (15 min.) (0.8 oz./23 g at 10% alpha acids)
5.6 AAU Cascade hops (15 min.) (0.8 oz./23 g at 7% alpha acids)
5 AAU Centennial hops (0 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 10% alpha acids)
3.5 AAU Cascade hops (0 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 7% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Centennial hops (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops (dry hop)
Imperial Yeast A24 (Dry Hop) or similar yeast blend such as White Labs WLP644 (Saccharomyces “Bruxellensis” Trois) blended with White Labs WLP095 (Burlington Ale) strains
¾ cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Crush the malt and add to 4.3 gallons (16.3 L) strike water to achieve a stable mash temperature at 152 °F (67 °C) until enzymatic conversion is complete. Sparge slowly with 168 °F (76 °C) water, collecting wort until the pre-boil kettle volume is 6.5 gallons (24.6 L). Boil the wort for 80 minutes, adding the hops as indicated in the recipe.

After the boil is finished, cool the wort to 200 °F (82 °C) and then add the 0-minute hop stand additions. Stir the wort to create a whirlpool, then let settle for 20 minutes before chilling the wort down to yeast-pitching temperature. Now transfer to the fermenter, aerate the wort, and pitch the yeast. Ferment at 60–62 °F (16–17 °C). As the kräusen begins to fall, typically day four or five, add the dry hops to the fermenter and let the beer sit on the hops for four days. Bottle with priming sugar or keg and force carbonate the beer to 2.4 volumes CO2.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Resilience Butte County Proud IPA clone

(5 gallons/19 L, extract with grains)
OG = 1.065 FG = 1.016
IBU = 64 SRM = 12 ABV = 6.5%

Ingredients
6.6 lbs. (3 kg) extra light dried malt extract
1.25 lbs. (0.57 kg) Crisp crystal malt (60 °L)
8 AAU Centennial hops (80 min.) (0.8 oz./23 g at 10% alpha acids)
8 AAU Centennial hops (15 min.) (0.8 oz./23 g at 10% alpha acids)
5.6 AAU Cascade hops (15 min.) (0.8 oz./23 g at 7% alpha acids)
5 AAU Centennial hops (0 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 10% alpha acids)
3.5 AAU Cascade hops (0 min.) (0.5 oz./14 g at 7% alpha acids)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Centennial hops (dry hop)
0.5 oz. (14 g) Cascade hops (dry hop)
Imperial Yeast A24 (Dry Hop) or similar yeast blend such as White Labs WLP644 (Saccharomyces “Bruxellensis” Trois) blended with White Labs WLP095 (Burlington Ale) strains
¾ cup corn sugar (if priming)

Step by Step
Place the crushed malt in a muslin bag. Steep the grains in 5 gallons (23 L) of water at 160 °F (71 °C) for 20 minutes. Remove the grain bag and wash with 2 qts. (2 L) of hot water. Top off the kettle to 6.5 gallons (24.6 L) and heat up to boil. As soon as the water begins to boil, remove the brew pot from the heat and stir in the dried malt extract. Stir until all the extract is dissolved then return the wort to a boil. Boil the wort for 80 minutes adding hops at the times indicated in the recipe.

After the boil is finished, cool the wort to 200 °F (82 °C) and then add the 0-minute hop stand additions. Stir the wort to create a whirlpool, then let settle for 20 minutes before chilling the wort down to yeast-pitching temperature. Now transfer to the fermenter, aerate the wort, and pitch the yeast. Ferment at 60–62 °F (16–17 °C). As the kräusen begins to fall, typically day four or five, add the dry hops to the fermenter and let the beer sit on the hops for four days. Bottle with priming sugar or keg and force carbonate the beer to 2.4 volumes CO2.