On Tuesday, the brewers who participated in Sierra Nevada’s Resilience IPA fundraiser received an email from co-owner and vice president Sierra Grossman. Grossman’s email thanks brewers who have fulfilled their financial commitments to the campaign, and adds that the fund is still awaiting more than half of the donations.
“Currently we do not have even half of the overall pledges in hand,” she writes. The deadline for donations was May 14, 2019.
Some beer community members took issue with Grossman “calling out” the fact that brewers have not yet sent their contributions. However, at press time, no brewery or individual was named. Grossman simply states that in order to continue the work of the organization, Sierra Nevada needs that money it was promised, and soon.
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According to Grossman’s email, there are still 10,000 people without homes.
The good news is that, thus far, the fund has contributed close to $7.1 million* to Camp Fire relief efforts, according to the email, which was shared on Twitter by anonymous investigative reporter Worst Beer Blog. This includes offsetting home building costs, providing immediate disaster needs, providing housing for adults with disabilities, and paying case workers and an admittedly very well-compensated communications professional to further the fund’s efforts. The fund has an additional $1 million “earmarked for temporary workforce housing,” Grossman writes. “If we don’t find creative solutions to get these folks in a temporary housing solution of some sort, we are at risk of losing much more.”
The nearly 1,500 brewers who pledged to help Camp Fire victims through this charitable beer did a wonderful thing. And finances are complicated. I get that, and I’d like to believe anyone who has yet to pay this due has every intention of doing so.
That said, those who made, marketed, and sold Sierra Nevada’s recipe, and enjoyed the tremendous amount of press it received, need to pay up. Not doing so is not only obviously wrong, it does a disservice to their brand, the industry, the beer community at large, and, most importantly, the people in California who are waiting for help.
The Aluminum Tariff Has Lifted!
After nearly a year of aluminum-fueled drama after Trump cut off U.S. manufacturers from buying aluminum from Canada and Mexico, the ban has officially been lifted.
Beer industry members were concerned by the tariff because as much as 60 percent of beer is packaged in aluminum cans, according to the Beer Institute.
It’s a relief for the beer industry, and for consumers who can now go on drinking beer out of cans… which we literally never stopped doing this entire time.
Brewers Can Date Markets Before Marrying Them With ‘Guest Brewer’
Brew Pipeline, a “direct-access platform” that connects craft breweries and wholesalers, announced a new “Guest Brewer” program that allows brewers to date new markets before committing to a distributor partnership.
As more breweries produce rotational IPAs and other beer styles, the Guest Brewer program will provide “an opportunity to test a market without fully committing to a costly long-term rollout,” Brewbound reports.
I think this is a great idea. It’s time to update the three-tier system. Just as we can try out expensive fragrances with Scentbird (I haven’t done this, but think it’s a good idea), borrow clothes we can’t afford with Rent the Runway (RTR changed my life), or return a $1,000 mattress after six months (turns out, it’s not the mattress, it’s me), brewers with relatively smaller budgets should be able to secure trials. They otherwise risk getting permanently stuck in a distributor relationship that sends their beer to a place people aren’t drinking it. That alternative can easily destroy a great brewery, which no one wants to see happen.
* UPDATE: This article previously stated that $2.5 million had been raised via the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund. This was incorrect. $2.5 million was the sum that was raised since the last letter from Sierra Nevada. A spokesperson told VinePair, “Together with our brewing community, the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund has raised $7.1 million for Camp Fire relief thus far. We expect this number to rise significantly in the coming weeks as brewery donations come in. Of this total, $2.2 million has been contributed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.”