PG&E Themed Beers From Sonoma County Blackout/Fire Survivors
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In Windsor California, the brewer Barrel Brothers released a canned beer called Mandatory Blackout, an imperial porter to commemorate the brewery losing power for 10 days during this fall’s wildfire warnings. As you can clearly see, the Imperial Porter’s label is inspired by the PG&E Logo.
The co-founder and brewmaster, Wesley Deal of Barrel Brothers told the Press Democrat, “We were one of the closest breweries to the (Kincade) fire,” said he, “It seems like a kind of an appropriate theme.”
But Barrel Bros are not the only brewers who were affected by the fires and blackouts, and who wanted to make a statement. Last month, Shady Oak Barrel House started serving a ‘Fuck PG&E’ pale ale that caused a bit of a stir. While some people are very upset with PG&E (whose equipment malfunctions started many of California’s wildfires this past year) many small business owners were nearly wiped out by having their power turned off by PG&E for days if not weeks at a time for ‘fire prevention’. If you’re in the service industry or a food/beverage manufacturer, losing power for days can mean losing your whole livelihood.
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On one hand, fuck PG&E. On the other hand, there are hundreds of hard-working employees at PG&E who keep our power grid going, and THEY didn’t design faulty equipment or cause the power company to go bankrupt, or start massively dangerous and costly fires, they’re the people who will hopefully prevent the next fires from happening, and we need them now more than ever. So don’t hate the hard-working guy on the frontlines, hate the dirtbag executives who lead us here, and then jumped ship when things got tough.
One of my favorite brewers, Russian River Brewing Co. last week released Sonoma Pride, an India pale ale Lager produced to pay for scholarships for the Santa Rosa Junior College Fire Academy and contribute to local fire agencies that battled the Kincade fire. The special batch was brewed with four different hops, and features a lot of citrus aroma. It is available on draft at Russian River’s Windsor and Santa Rosa brewpubs and in bottles.
It should be noted that PG&E warned everyone of the impending blackouts, so most brewers were able to save their stock. In any case, creative, conversation-starting beer labels are always welcome, and so are the fine brews continuously coming out of Sonoma County, God bless them.