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PG&E Themed Beers From Sonoma County Blackout/Fire Survivors

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Barrel Brothers, ‘Mandatory Blackout’

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 falls wild fire warnings.  As you can clearly see, the label and porter 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 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 by the power company.  If you’re in the service industry or a food/beverage manufacturer, losing power for days can mean losing your whole livelihood.

Shady Oak Barrel House Menu last month

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.

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.

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Alex Mak - Managing Editor

Alex Mak - Managing Editor

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