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Local Brewer, Sierra Nevada Team Up For Butte Fire Relief
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Last Call Brewing Company owner Brian Chiara, left, with wife Ericka and Last Call Manager Walter Ramirez as they prepare to release the Resilience Butte County Proud IPA on Sunday, Dec. 16. The local brewery along with 1,400 others nationwide have partnered with Chico-based Sierra Nevada Brewing to raise money for the Camp Fire Relief Fund.

The news vans have left, the embers have died and the air quality has slowly started to return to normal, yet the devastation remains. As the nation resumes their everyday life and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, the craft beer community has been up to something else – Resilience.

By definition the word “resilience” refers to the capacity to quickly recover from difficulties; toughness. It is the word chosen by Chico-based Sierra Nevada Brewing Company for its latest brew “Resilience Butte County Proud IPA.” A fundraiser beer, the company has committed to donating 100 percent of the sales to the Camp Fire Relief Fund.

Looking to both broaden its reach, as well as funds, the well-known and respected craft beer pioneer quickly reached out to the craft community via social media. The idea simple, empower as many breweries willing to participate in brewing the recipe and dedicated to also donate sales to the Camp Fire Relief Fund.

“I think we were one of the first breweries to say, hey we’ve got to do this just because of our ties to Chico,” Last Call Brewing Co. Manager and 2012 Chico State alum Walter Ramirez shared.

Last Call owners Josh Garcia and Brian Chiara both spend their “day jobs” as first responders. As a firefighter and paramedic, the brewery partners felt the collaboration was the least they could do to help Butte County.

“It’s just sort of a no brainer,” Chiara said of partnering with the well-known craft maker and joining forces with 1,400-plus other breweries nationwide for the fundraising release. “It’s Sierra Nevada’s recipe, we just copied it on our scale.”

The team began the brew on Nov. 27 and will be releasing it to the public from their tasting room on Sunday, Dec. 16.

“I think it’s going to be really cool, because every brewery, even though we make the same recipe, it’s going to be a little different everywhere you go,” Chiara stated.

Breweries taking part in the release will serve it in house only. It will not be distributed for resale by any brewer other than Sierra Nevada. Last Call will, however, gladly fill growlers for those interested in taking some to go.

“It’s a west coast style IPA, pretty traditional, pretty classic,” Ramirez said, just days after sampling the work in progress. “It’s been cool to brew a beer that’s in line with someone that’s been doing this since the beginning of craft beer.”

But this is about more than beer, while both Ramirez and Chiara share their passion for the brew process and offering quality brew to their loyal customers, they also share their personal connections to the Camp Fire devastation. Stories of friends fleeing homes as fire began engulfing neighborhoods, families left with nothing but a handful of clothing items and each other.

“We want the funds to benefit the people,” Chiara said of their participation. “When it’s gone, it’s gone. It’s not just the proceeds or profits … all the money is going to the Camp Fire Relief Fund.”

The owner shared they’ve brewed 310 gallons of Resilience. As a business owner he knows how long that would typically last in the tasting room. In this case, they anticipate being sold out sooner than normal.

“Once it’s gone we’re not doing it again,” Ramirez stated.

“It’s something so simple for us to do,” Chiara continued. “I think the whole relief effort hopefully means something to somebody else. It’s really the very least we can do.”

Last Call began brewing in Oakdale in early 2014. To date they’ve opened a tasting room on the South end of town and are currently in construction on a new location in the downtown Oakdale area. Prior to the partnership with Sierra Nevada they have hosted as well as attended collaboration events with fellow Valley breweries Channel Brewing Company and Blaker Brewing.

Last Call is at 944 Shepard Court, Oakdale. Sunday, Dec. 16 they will be open from noon to 5 p.m. For additional information call (888) 512-5592 or find them on Facebook at Last Call Brewing Company.