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Central Oregon breweries make beer to benefit fire victims

November 28, 2018

BEND, Ore. (AP) — Porter Brewing Co. co-owner Avara Roberts will brew alongside her husband in December to raise money for victims of the Camp Fire, which claimed the home of Roberts’ grandfather.

“I want to be part of this one,” said Roberts, whose husband, Deven, is the brewmaster at Porter. “I’m going to brew with him because it’s so close to my heart.”

The Redmond brewery is one of a dozen in Central Oregon that have answered the call from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, California, to raise money for the Camp Fire Relief Fund.

One of the original craft breweries and a mainstay of Butte County, Sierra Nevada saw some of its employees affected by the fire. Sierra Nevada created a recipe called Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, which many breweries were making on Tuesday, also known as Giving Tuesday. Others will fit it into their production schedules another time.

Central Oregon is well-represented on the list of participating breweries, perhaps because so many people in the local industry have ties to Northern California.

Deschutes Brewery has many employees whose families are in the Chico area, including in Paradise, who lost homes, so the company is holding an internal fundraiser in addition to brewing the Resilience IPA, spokeswoman Erin Rankin said.

Deschutes will brew eight barrels, which is about 20 kegs, at the Bend pub this week, Rankin said. The beer will be sold at the Bend pub and tasting room and Portland pub in about three weeks, she said.

Wild Ride Brewing in Redmond brewed the beer last week and will release it Dec. 4, brewmaster Paul Bergeman said. Wild Ride made a 20-barrel batch, or about 40 kegs, and expects to raise about $10,000, he said.

A new brewery specializing in English-style cask ales, Porter will make three barrels, which matches the capacity of its system, Avara Roberts said. Her family has a long history with Butte County, California, where her mother was raised. Her grandfather, who lived in the community of Magalia, was loading up a trailer when neighbors came by telling him to leave immediately. His house burned to the ground, but he survived the eight-hour trek to Chico, Roberts said.

“He told my mom, ‘I have lost everything I’ve ever worked for, and I’m OK with that.’”

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