thorn brewing sierra nevada

Beer Community Comes Together with Resilience IPA

One of the best things about being part of the craft beer community is the support that breweries show to one another in times of need. Yes, there is still healthy competition within the industry but most brewers, sales reps, and tasting rooms staff all seem to really have each other’s backs when it matters. From lending out specific hops or malts for a scheduled brew to donating to each other’s family causes to sharing information and expertise with each other, brewers are a loyal bunch.

Recently, Butte County in California was hit was the deadliest and most destructive fire in California history. More than 14,000 people lost their homes when the fire tore through 153,000 acres in Northern California and 86 people lost their lives. Sierra Nevada Brewing is in Chico, CA, just minutes away from the areas hit worst by the Camp Fire, was immediately ready to take action. Not only was the community that supports them in turmoil, but they had many employees lose their homes. They decided to brew a beer for the cause and donate 100% of the proceeds to help the Camp Fire victims.

What happened next is the support that the craft beer community was built upon. Sierra Nevada put out the call to other breweries for them to brew their own versions of the same recipe for Resilience Butte County Strong IPA and donate 100% of the proceeds to the cause. They reached out to hop and malt suppliers and set it up so that the breweries brewing the beer wouldn’t have to pay for the ingredients, making the decision even easier for many breweries. More than 1400 breweries around the country stepped up to help, donating their time, staff, and tank space to brew Resilience IPA. That’s one in every five craft breweries in the U.S. willing to lend a hand to friends in need, even if these friends were essentially strangers.

Said in their own words from their blog:

We sent out the “bat signal” calling our friends in the industry, asking our suppliers to donate ingredients, asking other breweries (our competitors) to donate their time and labor costs, and asking our wholesalers and retailers to carry the beer for free. It was a big ask, and we never could have anticipated the response.

More than 1,400 breweries signed up to brew Resilience. Our suppliers donated ingredients to every brewery nationwide. Wholesalers and retailers agreed to carry the beer and donate every dollar they received. All of them agreed to do this for free to benefit people they had never met.

In all, Resilience Butte County Proud IPA should hit the market in mid-late December more than 17,000 barrels—or 4.2 million pints—strong. Every dollar Sierra Nevada receives will go to those impacted by the Camp Fire.

Here at Thorn, we were happy to help out and brewed our own version of their Resilience IPA that we are releasing on December 20th, which has been coined Resilience Night across the country. If the beer sells out, it has the ability to raise more than $15 Million in donations for the Camp Fire relief fund. Our Resilience beer will be on tap at our Barrio Logan tasting room starting 12/20 until we sell out and like all the other 1400 breweries, every dollar from the sale of the beer will be donated. Here’s hoping that for victims of the Camp Fire, their holidays are just a little brighter knowing that there are so many people thinking of them and doing their part to help ease their financial burdens.

For more info on the breweries who are brewing Resilience IPA and donating funds, check out Sierra Nevada’s Resilience Map.

Anna Brigham

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picture of the Gallo family, including three grown brothers and their mom. one brother is struggling with addiction.

Touched by Addiction: Robbie’s Story

Touched By Addiction

While we do enjoy talking about beer, here at Thorn Street Brewery, sometimes real life happens and helps to show us a bigger picture in our surrounding community. September is National Recovery Month and with more than 21 million people struggling with addiction in the U.S., the impact on their families and loved ones is far-reaching.

This issue hit close to home recently, when one of our TSB tribe members, Robbie Gallo, was interviewed by about his family’s story. This campaign was created to shed light on the stigma attached to addiction and the effect on family members of people addicted to drugs.

Robbie is not only a valued employee here at TSB, but he is also a founding member of Vokab Kompany, a San Diego based hip-hop, electro, soul, funk band. Robbie’s brother, Brian is addicted to heroin and meth and thankfully is now in a 2 year rehab program at Delancey Street Foundation. When recently asked, “what it’s like to love someone struggling with addiction,” Robbie’s mom had some powerful things to say.

A mother’s love…

“You hope it’s not that bad. You hope it will get better. You prepare yourself. They might not survive. You must strengthen your mind -your heart. You look in on them when they are ‘sleeping.’  You check their breathing-like a newborn. You know you must be so crazy.

You look for a lot of input, calling local rehab centers. Tahoe Turning Point, AA, NA, Salvation Army, Barton Hospital. Any, and all possible options. Some in CA, some in NV. You enlist your local police /sheriff for strength. You tell your loved one (Brian), that they are SO LOVED, SO VALUED, SO WORTH EVERY EFFORT. Please don’t die… You keep hoping and praying that something Grand and Magical could happen…”

Here’s the interview Robbie did, talking about the impact that his brother’s drug addiction had on his family.

Robbie and his bandmates wrote and recorded a song  with 9 Theory, called Warm in the Light, which was inspired by his brother’s strength and struggle. Family members of addicts are incredibly impacted by this disease and this campaign by is working to lift the stigma that loving an addict can carry. The third verse in the song is a good example of the heart and soul that went into making this song.

Warm in the Light

Rob Verse 3:
Truth is you were born with a good life
Hard to know which friends would be worth while
Just kids trying to find another planet
Who’d a thought that cha find another habit
Back then it was nothing but a little fun
That all changed when you found that prescription
Can’t understand you could love it more than us
But then again it was something that I never touched
A soft high in the clutch there was no plan
Went from pills, to a pipe, to a spoon man
Truth stands in the back ’till it’s called up
Until then all your talks just stuff
God damn man hoping that you’ll catch a clue
But me and you will see it through, never make do
We had a view of the world baby all smiles
Just a child and you’re forever worthwhile

Brian is about 6 months through the 2 year program and is doing great. Robbie feels very positive about his brother’s path at this point.  This song, while exposing the raw nerves of drug addiction, is ultimately uplifting in its message of support and strength.

Vokab Kompany is running a campaign right now raising money to create a vinyl record of this song as well as to support the Delancey Street Foundation. There are even rewards for people who donate, outlined in the sidebar of the campaign page.

Feel free to share and donate, or even just use this as a jumping off point to talk about this important issue with your friends and family.