Russian River Brews Sonoma Pride to Support Firefighters

Russian River is brewing a Sonoma Pride IPL after a wildfire forced the evacuation of the popular Windsor, California, craft brewery last week.

Russian River co-founder Natalie Cilurzo told Brewbound that Sonoma Pride will be available next month at both the Windsor and Santa Rosa breweries and proceeds will support a yet-to-be-determined charity that supports firefighters. The beer will be on draft and in bottles with commemorative labels, which will also adorn T-shirts.

“This batch of Sonoma Pride will be to specifically honor all of the first responders and firefighters who really worked so hard to save Windsor and Healdsburg and save our community from having another Coffey Park or even a Paradise situation,” she said. “It was looking pretty dire there for a while over the weekend and so we just want to commemorate and honor the efforts of all of the first responders and firefighters.”

The Kincade Fire started on October 23 near Geyserville, about 15 miles from Russian River’s Windsor location.

Russian River was closed after the towns of Windsor and Healdsburg were evacuated on October 26. The brewery was closed for eight days while evacuation orders were in place, and gas to the property was shut off. The brewery finally reopened on October 31, although staff was unable to brew or operate its kitchen until gas was restored.

The Kincade Fire was 80% contained as of Monday, after burning nearly 78,000 acres and claiming 374 buildings, according to NPR.

In a video on Facebook, Russian River co-founder Vinnie Cilurzo announced that he and his team brewed a new version of Sonoma Pride.

In 2017, the Cilurzos worked with 50 other breweries to raise more than $1.1 million for wildfire relief efforts in Sonoma and Napa counties.

Although the 2017 version of Sonoma Pride was a blonde ale, the 2019 version of Sonoma Pride will be an India Pale Lager, which Vinnie Cilurzo said contains “some of my favorite citrus-driven hops: Crystal, Citra, Comet and our favorite experimental hop, 692.”

“We certainly want to think about those that lost their houses during the fire, but we also want to recognize all the first responders — Windsor Fire and all of Cal Fire — for all they did to save our town,” Vinnie Cilurzo said in the video.

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