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Peddler to help California fire victims

December 24, 2018
Jay Fox is the head brewer at The Peddler in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON — From Nov. 8 until Nov. 25, America watched in horror as The Camp Fire in Butte County, California, raged — killing everything in its path.

While most of the country may have forgot the fire — which killed at least 86 people and caused between $7.5 billion and $10 billion in damage — the nation’s brewers are uniting to make sure the victims are not forgotten.

On Thursday, more than 1,400 breweries from around the country began tapping kegs of a special Sierra Nevada Brewing Company collaboration recipe — a Resilience Butte County Proud IPA — that gives 100 percent of the profits to rebuilding support for the region after the fire, the deadliest wildfire in the United States since the Cloquet fire in 1918.

In all, Resilience Butte County Proud IPA should hit the market from now through late December/early January. More than 17,000 barrels — or 4.2 million pints — strong to help support the Chico, California-based Sierra Nevada in its efforts to help its neighbors in need.

Locally, The Peddler, 835 3rd Ave., Huntington, was brewing the beer in house on Thursday with hopes to have it on tap at their restaurant/pub/arcade in early January.

Regionally, such breweries as Jackie O’s in Athens, Ohio, Country Boy and West Sixth in Lexington, Kentucky, and Weathered Ground in Ghent, West Virginia, are also brewing the collaboration beer.

Jay Fox, who is the head brewer at The Peddler, brewed their batch on Thursday morning with Ollie Bailey, who is the general manager of The Peddler and Backyard. Bailey said it will be about a $6,000 donation once all the kegs (10 to 11) are sold (by the pint and the growler).

Fox said when he heard about Sierra Nevada’s efforts to use the United States’ collective brew power to help out, he had to jump on board.

“They put out the bat signal, and over 1,400 breweries signed up to do it,” Fox said. “When I saw that name Resilience I was like, ‘We have got to do it. If West Virginia citizens are anything we are resilient. We’ve dealt with flooding and all kinds of disasters, and we always help each other out and stick together.’”

For The Peddler, the fire really hit home.

The brewery was in the works prior to the July 2014 fire that destroyed the restaurant’s original site in the Morris Building at 9th Street and 4th Avenue.

After that fire, Fox and owner Drew Hetzer said they would use the delay to better plan and take their time installing the new brewery at The Peddler, which opened in September 2016 next door to Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar in the Vandalia Building on 3rd Avenue. The brewing operation officially opened on Sept. 1, 2017, making it the first Huntington-brewed commercial beer since River and Rail Brewery (formerly Brew Bakers) closed its doors in 1998.

Wholesalers and retailers agreed to carry the beer and donate every dollar they received, Sierra Nevada said in a release.

The recipe called for two-row and Crystal 60, a darker malt with a hop bill of Centennial and Cascade hops, including some six pounds of hops being used as dry hop which should give it a fresh nose and flavor.

In a press release, Sierra Nevada expressed its gratitude to the nation’s brewing industry and craft beer fans.

“Thank you to the brewing community. Thank you to our suppliers. Thank you to our wholesalers and retailers. And thank you to every single customer who is helping us rebuild our Butte County community — one pint at a time.”

“They put out the bat signal, and over 1,400 breweries signed up to do it. When I saw that name Resilience I was like, ‘We have got to do it.’”

Jay Fox head brewer at The Peddler

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