8 Colorado Breweries Band Together to Support Those Devastated in California Fires

 Photo courtesy Westfax Brewing

Photo courtesy Westfax Brewing

Benefit set for December 11 at Westfax Brewing Co.

Spurred on by the complete devastation that swept through more than 400 square miles of California in the Woolsey and Camp Fire wildfires, eight local breweries jumped into action.

During the past month, more than 100 lives were claimed along with homes, vehicles memories, pets and wildlife. Almost 300 people are unaccounted for and multiple firefighters were injured while battling the flames. As if the destruction of the fires wasn’t enough, mud flows and landslides are predicted within the ashy California landscape, and a toxic environment remains, resulting in a public health emergency from the deadliest fire in California’s history. 

Artist Noelle Phares, who partners with Westfax Brewing Co., in Lakewood, was devastated to find out her childhood home in the town of Paradise had been among the extensive losses. After talking with the brewery staff, they decided to help the California communities the best way they knew how: through beer.

Westfax has scheduled a benefit for Dec. 11 in the taproom, 6733 W. Colfax Ave. From 4-10 p.m., the California Camp Fire Brewery Benefit will feature $12, limited-edition crowlers. Great Divide, Copper Kettle, Westbound & Down, Joyride, Hogshead, Four Noses and Woods Boss Brewing teamed up with Westfax to rally support.

The crowler cans will be released from each brewery involved. The can artwork was painted and donated by local artist David Heath. Using a limited distribution agreement, WestFax hopes to sell all 250 crowlers during the benefit, and all proceeds will go toward California fire relief efforts. In addition, Phares will host an auction of a couple pieces of her artwork in solidarity with the benefit. 

“The hope is that people and craft beer lovers from all around Denver will come out to this event, share a pint with some people who’ve been impacted, and help us support those affected by this tragedy,” said Brian Haitz, Westfax Brewing’s marketing and operations manager. “I feel that it’s our responsibility as a brewery culture to use our platform to help those in need as much as we can. When some close friends of mine were affected by these fires, I knew we had to act.” 

Another beer-centric fundraising effort was launched on the national level. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. has released Resilience Butte County Proud IPA and plans to donate 100 percent of the beer sales to the Camp Fire Relief Fund. The recipe has been offered to brewers nationwide (more than 1,000 have signed on to brew Resilience) and Sierra Nevada has encouraged the breweries to donate all sales to the cause.

-Natasha Lovato

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