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Florida Brewers Collaborate on Hurricane Irma Relief Beer

Tampa-area breweries will brew an IPA using hop varietals that begin with I-R-M-A with proceeds going to a local food bank.

John Holl September 19, 2017

Florida Brewers Collaborate on Hurricane Irma Relief Beer Primary Image

As Florida begins its slow recovery following the effects of Hurricane Irma, brewers in the state are getting back to business and doing their part to help fellow residents get back on their feet.

This Friday at least three breweries in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area will gather together to brew an IPA with the proceeds going directly to local charities to help Floridians in need.

“We were incredibly lucky,” says Khristopher Johnson the head brewer and co-owner of Green Bench Brewing, “Most of the breweries in this area escaped relatively unscathed, but our neighbors and people in the state lost a lot, so we want to help them out.”

Brewers from Coppertail Brewing Co. and 7venth Sun Brewery will gather at Green Bench to make a simple all pilsner malt IPA using hops that will serve as an acronym for IRMA: Idaho 7, Rakau, Mosaic, and Amarillo.

“Honestly it’s a simple beer. We’re shooting for 55 IBUs, 6.7% ABV, and it’ll be fermented with Chico yeast,” says Johnson, who like so many others was without power at his home for six days following the storm. The IRMA IPA will be packaged in 12 ounce cans with six packs retailing for $10 at Green Bench’s tap room. Organizers are working on the logistics to get kegs to the other participating breweries to serve the beer at their locations. He expects to package the beer on October 11.

Proceeds will go directly to Feeding Florida (Donate Here), a food bank that operates year-round but that has been working non-stop following Hurricane IRMA.

The brewers themselves received some help in the making of this beer. When trying to find quantities of the “R” hop they called BSG and explained the situation. The company, wanting to help, donated the ingredients to get the beer made. Other raw material companies like CMG, YCH, AND HAAS also donated to not only this brew day, but future ones.

That’s because this IPA won’t be limited to the southwestern part of the state. In recent days M.I.A. Beer Company in Miami and Intuition Ale Works in Jacksonville have both offered to host breweries in their area to collaborate on the same beer. Brew days are currently being planned.

At Green Bench, that beer will get its label design donated by Craft Brands, Bay Tech will print it for free and the brewery’s canner, Craft Beer Crew, will also donate time and resources to the cause.

“The goal is to help as many people, back on their feet as possible,” says Johnson.

Photo: Ben Davis, the Founder of Intuition Ale Works in Jacksonville, Florida, during Hurricane Irma. Photo courtesy of Intuition Ale Works.

John Holl is the Senior Editor of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email tips and story suggestions to [email protected].

Have you brewed this recipe? What did you think?