Russian River Resurrects 'Sonoma Pride' Beer to Support Kincade Fire Relief
The already amorphous brew will be a citrusy IPA this time around.
The ongoing—but now reportedly 80 percent contained—Kincade Fire is Sonoma County's second major fire in the past three years, following the Wine Country fires in 2017. Thankfully, the Kincade Fire has proved less devastating than that event (or last year's Camp Fire in Butte County which was the deadliest in California history). According to the San Francisco Chronicle, no one has died in the Kincade Fire, and the paper suggests that one of the many reasons for this difference is the lessons learned from 2017. Accordingly, residents also appear better prepared with what to do in the aftermath—like Russian River Brewing. After reopening the famed and acclaimed brewery, they immediately got to work bringing back Sonoma Pride—the same beer they brewed two years ago to raise money for fire relief funds.
After over a week shut down, on November 2, Russian River Co-owner Vinnie Cilurzo posted a video on Facebook to let everyone know that their Windsor brewery was up and running again. "The first thing we did was brew Sonoma Pride in honor of all the first responders helping our entire community battle the #kincadefire," the brewery posted. This time around, the beer—which was previous a hoppy blonde ale—will now be an IPA "using some of my favorite citrus-driven hops—so Crystal, Citra, Comet, and our favorite experimental hop, 692," Cilurzo added. "We'll have it out in about a month or so. More on that to come later on."
Sonoma Pride's change in style is actually quite fitting because Sonoma Pride was always more of a concept than a beer anyway. Two years ago, dozens of breweries all brewed their own versions of Sonoma Pride with proceeds benefiting Sonoma County. As a result, 2017's version of Sonoma Pride came in many forms, from imperial IPA to porter. It's unclear whether other breweries will recreate their own Sonoma Pride beers for 2019, but it's certainly possible. In 2018, when Sierra Nevada Brewing put out a similar call to brew a beer raising money for Camp Fire charities, over 1,400 breweries jumped on board.
Meanwhile, Russian River admits they are happy to simply be brewing at all. "This fire came waaay too close for comfort to our brewery in Windsor. The fire came within just over 1 mile from us," the brewery posted to Facebook last week. "We can't thank the firefighters and ALL first responders enough for fighting off this very aggressive #kincadefire!"