Breweries have become an unlikely guardian angel in response to wildfires that have ravaged the West Coast. Last summer, Sierra Nevada’s Resilience IPA raised millions of dollars for the Camp Fire relief efforts. This summer, with another round of fires damaging parts of California and Oregon, and smoke from these fires traveling as far as New York City, Flying Embers has committed to supporting those affected by the fires.
That hard kombucha company was founded in 2017 after the Thomas Fires swept through Ventura County, barely missing the fermentation lab where the brand was born. Since then the company has grown in conjunction with its support for the first responders who saved the lab. “Giving back to first responders is in our DNA,” founder and CEO Bill Moses said in an interview with Forbes. “I came to appreciate what they do and how they sacrifice, and ever since then I’ve committed the brand and everything we do—our purpose—to giving back to first responders.”
One firefighter in particular has helped Flying Embers with its mission. Joe Woyjeck, a retired fire captain with the Los Angeles County fire department and current VP of the Los Angeles County Fire Museum, advisises the company in its efforts to support and celebrate first responders. Last month, Flying Embers donated 100 percent of its proceeds from online sales to support California's fire relief efforts, totaling $50,000, and this month Woyjeck delivered a check for an additional $25,000 to the Talent, Oregon fire department, which lost its station to the Alameda Fire.
“I am truly amazed that, for a limited time, Flying Ember is giving 100 percent of their profits in support of first responders fighting the fires in Oregon—not 10 percent, not 50 percent, but 100 percent,” Woyjeck said. “I feel a little guilty, as it is very cathartic for me to be able to help Flying Embers find suitable, needy first responders to donate its money and equipment to.” In addition to the initial $25,000, proceeds from online sales will continue to help communities in Oregon recovering from wildfires. Currently, Flying Embers ships its hard kombucha and hard seltzer to California, Nevada, and Washington D.C.