Sierra Nevada’s Resilience Butte County IPA Is a Great Idea and Even Better BeerJanuary 11, 2019
The best story in beer right now only slightly has to do with beer. At the end of 2018, Northern California’s Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and its surrounding community experienced countless tragedies at the hands of the devastating Camp Fire—a wildfire that, to date, has claimed more than 80 lives and destroyed 13,000-plus homes (directly affecting about 50 brewery employees according to USA Today). With the blaze still very much active last November, the team at Sierra Nevada created a new relief fund, seeded it with $100,000 of brewery dollars, and then open sourced the recipe for beer designed to add to that fund.
Resilience Butte County Proud IPA is available in cans, but any brewery (or homebrewer) can make a batch and participate in the effort by offering it on draft. They only need to donate all proceeds to the newly Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund. Sierra Nevada initially hoped to find 200 or so willing partners. To date, more than 1,500 breweries have pledged to brew and the brewer expects to raise $15 million through 4.2 million pints.
Appearance and Aroma
I tried Resilience IPA on draft at two beloved Austin breweries—Austin Beerworks and Hops & Grain. Sierra Nevada offered up a singular recipe, but beer remains dependant on so many variable factors (climate, water, timing) that some differentiation between brewers is inevitable. Looks-wise, however, it poured pretty consistently between honey and slightly-lightened apple cider. Though it’s not a hazy, New England-style IPA, the beer has a nice cloudy consistency. Neither rendition sampled had a prominent nose, but the beer does have a freshness to its aroma, which mostly consists of faint citrus, pine, and a little bit of malt.
Sierra Nevada put together an IPA that should subtly please even the most anti-hops drinkers around.”
I am not a hop-head. Double IPAs don’t really appeal to me. That said, Sierra Nevada has created a rendition that should appeal to others who aren’t bitter-or-bust diehards. While IPA-or-nothing folks in my group wanted a bit more IBUs, Resilience IPA had the perfect amount of hops for my palate. It’s slightly bitter, but each sip proves quite clean with a quick impact on the tongue and very little lingering aftertaste. The beer led with lemon and had a sweetness to it when combined with the malt. But this is an IPA where the first b-word to come to mind afterwards is balanced, not bitter.
The fact that the beer has become so wildly available—and, thus, grown into an interesting and accessible tasting experiment where you can pick up on some nuances from your favorite local brewers—makes it all that much easier to get behind. And when you top all of that off with the fact Sierra Nevada put together an IPA that should subtly please even the most anti-hops drinkers around, well, what are you waiting for? A community of craft beer lovers in Southern California needs the rest of us to step up and sip; happily oblige.