California’s Charbay Distillery is releasing a special bottling of their Racer 5 IPA whiskey.

By Mike Pomranz
Updated May 28, 2019
Charbay Fire Relief Whiskey
Credit: Charbay Distillery

Last November’s Camp Fire disaster was the deadliest and most destructive wildfires in California history. So even though plenty of businesses, organizations, and individuals immediately stepped in to help, there’s still plenty more than can be done. Of course, it’s never too late to simply donate money, but if you prefer your charitable work to come in the form of drinking whiskey, one of Northern California’s best-known distilleries is about to release a special spirit with a portion of proceeds going to help those in need.

Ukiah, California’s Charbay Distillery — which has made a name for itself in part by being one of the first modern American distilleries to make whiskey from ready-to-drink beer — will be selling a batch of their famed IPA whiskey to benefit people impacted by the 2018 Camp Fire disaster. Charbay Whiskey R5 is distilled from bottle-ready Racer 5 IPA produced by the nearby Bear Republic Brewery. The distillery has just released its new “Lot No. 5” of this spirit, and $10,000 from the proceeds of a limited-edition, special labeling of these bottles will go to Stand for Kindness, a non-profit co-founded by Charbay co-owner Jenni Karakasevic that has been helping fire survivors since 2017.

“The 2018 Camp Fire ravaged our local community last fall and we had to step up and do what we could to help our friends and neighbors rebuild their lives,” Jenni said in a statement. “When [Charbay distiller Marko Karakasevic] suggested a fire relief whiskey, we went to work to designate Lot No. 5 as our way to continue supporting local families.”

“I chose the award-winning Racer 5 because it is the definition of Northern California IPA,” Marko added. “It’s also my favorite beer, and its flavors translate perfectly into our whiskey.”

Charbay Fire Relief Whiskey
Credit: Charbay Distillery

Bottles of this limited edition R5 Whiskey, which is slated to be released next month, will be sold at select retailers including New York City’s Winfield Flynn and Napa Valley’s Sunshine Market as well as online at Flask and Hi-Time with a suggested price of $60. If you can’t get your hands on a bottle, you can also donate to Stand for Kindness directly at