Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Three Local Breweries Working to Help With Maui Wildfire Relief

To help those impacted by the wildfires, the global beer community has rallied in support, including three local companies. (Jillian Appel/WYDaily)

WILLIAMSBURG — In August, a series of devastating wildfires broke out on the island of Maui. The wind-driven fires prompted evacuations and caused an estimated $6 billion in damage, including to mostly residential buildings and critical infrastructure.

To help those impacted by the wildfires, the global beer community has rallied in support, including three local companies: Billsburg Brewery, Precarious Beer Project, and The Virginia Beer Company.

Cans of Kōkua beer from Precarious Beer Project. (Photo- Precarious Beer Project)

“Once we heard about it we didn’t really hesitate at all and jumped just right on the ball,” said Nick Graziano, the Director of Operations at Precarious Beer Project. “We are the brewery are all big environmental people and hate to see stuff [like the fire] happen. Especially when it affects thousands of people.”

The breweries are helping the Kōkua Project, benefiting the Global Empowerment Mission, the nonprofit organization that is facilitating the Maui Brewing Company Fire Fund.

The Kōkua Project is one beer, brewed by many, to support the Maui ‘Ohana who have been affected by the tragic wildfires. Kōkua, translated as “extending help to others” in Hawaiian, is coordinated by Maui Brewing Company and inspired by Sierra Nevada’s Resilience project of 2018. Kōkua is described as a Session IPA that delivers a refreshing wave of tropical hop aroma atop a delicate malt base. 

Kōkua beer at VBC. (Photo- Virginia Beer Company)

“Since we opened the brewery our company Montra has been ‘Beer. People. Purpose.’ Everything we do we want to check at least one if not three of our boxes,” said Robby Willey, Co-Founder and Managing Member of The Virginia Beer Company.

“When [Maui Brewing Company] reached out with the idea that just by raising a round of a beer brewed by, at this point, 700-plus breweries across the globe that we could do our part to help those in Maui who have been affected by the wildfires — it was a no brainer,” Willey continued.

Recovery efforts on the island will continue throughout 2024 and beer lovers can support by grabbing a pint of Kōkua at their local brewery. For those who wish to help but not drink, donations can be made on the Maui Brewing Company page.

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