Austin area breweries making IPA to benefit California fire victims

More than 1,400 breweries nationwide, including about two dozen in the Austin area are working together to help victims of the Camp Fire in Northern California. 

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company is located about 15 miles away from Paradise, the town hardest hit by the Camp Fire, and many of their employees and members of the local community lost their homes to the flames. 

That’s why Sierra Nevada decided to create a beer specifically to raise money for Camp Fire victims and they asked every brewery in the country to join them.

“The full name is Resilience Butte County Proud IPA,” said Stephen Wagner, head brewer at Uncle Billy’s Brewery and Smokehouse.   

The recipe was brewed up by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and then shared with every brewery in the country who agreed to participate.

“If you drink Sierra Nevada you're not going to be surprised. It's an IPA, it's big bold West Coast hops, it's exactly what you expect from Sierra Nevada,” Wagner said.  

This beer will be on tap at 1,400 participating breweries, including 21 in the greater Austin area, in late December. 100 percent of sales across the country will go to the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire relief fund. 

“They talked to suppliers and got ingredients for free, that really made it possible for breweries like us and even smaller ones to be able to justify, especially in a slow time of year, be able to justify giving away all of our proceeds,” said Wagner.  

“We're providing the time and the expertise and the water, obviously, and then we're going to donate 100 percent of the proceeds all towards the Camp Fire relief,” said Jeff Willis, owner of Skull Machanix Brewing.   

The fire burned more than 153,000 acres in Northern California, killing at least 85 people and destroying more than 13,000 homes, making it the deadliest, most destructive in the state's history. 

“I know some of those people. I know some of the people who lost their homes and they're having a hard time right now,” Willis said.  

Firefighters, often the first to see the devastation left behind, have also helped with the brewing process. 

“A local firefighter, Bryan Knox, came by on brew day and helped me out, and we're going to invite him and some other firefighters by when we do our release date and kind of have them be our VIPs,” said Wagner. 

“Whether it be a house fire or a wild land event, we're always here to help people get back on their feet as soon as possible. That's why I wanted to contribute,” said Austin-area firefighter Bryan Knox.  

Once Resilience IPA hits taprooms, it will be up to customers to help fire victims one pint at a time. 

“Ultimately, we're all in this together. So if we can help, let's help,” Wagner said. 

The only requirement by Sierra Nevada is that the beer brewed by local breweries be tap room exclusive. Any cans sold will be brewed solely by the company itself. 

To find a list of local participating breweries visit