16 STL-area breweries make Resilience IPA to support Camp Fire victims

On Nov. 8, 2018, a fire started in the hills of Butte County, California. Within hours, the Camp Fire, named for its origin at Camp Creek Road, raged out of control. Power lines went down; cell towers were destroyed. The fire burned for three weeks, killing at least 86 people, injuring numerous firefighters and destroying around 14,000 homes across 153,000 scorched acres. It is considered the deadliest wildfire in California history.

In the aftermath, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, California, started making Resilience Butte County Proud IPA and donating 100 percent of its sales to help rebuild the communities destroyed in the fire. The brewery then published the recipe for the IPA, inviting brewers across the country to sell their own iterations of the beer and donate the proceeds. More than 1,400 breweries stepped up, including over a dozen St. Louis institutions such as 4 Hands Brewing Co., Main & Mill Brewing Co., Perennial Artisan Ales, Schlafly and more.

Everyone’s had their own reasons for pitching in. “It’s a lot to do with the help that we’ve gotten when we suffered our fire about three years ago,” said Ferguson Brewing Co. general manager Robb Wiesen. “The community, locally, came out and really supported us and helped us get back on our feet, so it seemed like the right thing to do.”

Though they’re all made with basically the same recipe, every Resilience IPA is unique. Ferguson’s version boasts a slight change in grain, but Wiesen said it’s mostly similar to the original. “I think everybody really likes the recipe and the beer,” he said.

Sierra Nevada’s seminal brew carries woodsy overtones of pine along with caramel and citrus notes. Charleville Brewing Co.’s Resilience IPA has a thinner body while maintaining the appealing bitterness of the original. 2nd Shift Brewings version is smooth, vibrant and well-balanced with a fuller mouthfeel than the other two.

Kyle Kohlmorgen, owner and brewer at Wellspent Brewing Co. in Midtown, said he strictly followed the recipe, even using a similar yeast to Sierra Nevada’s. Despite the fact that it required him to do things differently, he was immediately on board with the program.

“It was out of our comfort zone,” he said. “We just don’t brew that kind of beer, but it was a delicious recipe. … We sold through it faster than really any other beer we’ve had before. It was a great testament to St. Louis and its willingness to step up and do things whenever it can, even for people outside the state.”

Interested in trying interpretations from the 16 local breweries making Sierra Nevada’s recipe? Or just want to help out the cause? You can try samples of every local version in one place on Feb. 17, along with other beers, at 2nd Shift’s STL Resilience IPA Fest on The Hill.

Participating Breweries

2nd Shift Brewing
4 Hands Brewing Co.
Charleville Brewing Co.
Ferguson Brewing Co.
Friendship Brewing Co.
Heavy Riff Brewing Co.
Main & Mill Brewing Co.
Missouri Beer Co.
Narrow Gauge Brewing Co.
Perennial Artisan Ales
Public House Brewing Co.
Shared by Side Project Brewing
Third Wheel Brewing
Wellspent Brewing Co.

Adam Rothbarth is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine.