Bear Republic Brewing family owners give $150K to Sonoma County wildfire relief

As a family-owned independent brewery in the heart of Sonoma County, Bear Republic has donated to a various organizations over the last 22 years.

The list of recipients includes the American Legion, the 4-H Foundation of Sonoma County, CALFire and other fire departments, as well as Kiwanis, Rotary and Parent Teacher organizations and many more. Last year Bear Republic and the Norgrove Family contributed more than $150,000.

Family members also spend their nights and weekends helping to support a number of other organizations, such as the Healdsburg Performing Arts Center, Roustabout Youth Theater, youth sports teams, and by working with the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs on various events.

In the words of President and CEO Richard Norgrove, '2017 was a tough year for many of us, and Bear Republic was instrumental in assisting victims of the Sonoma County wildfires.'

For fire victims and first responders, Bear Republic offered complimentary meals at both of its Healdsburg and Rohnert Park brewpub locations, and donated funds directly to those impacted by the firestorm. A total of $172,436 was donated by Bear Republic for North Bay fire relief.

The company also offered salary continuation to all of the Bear team members who lost work time and pay during the wildfires.

Inspired by a desire to work with other breweries and show its strength and support for each other, Bear Republic worked directly with St. Florian's Brewery in Windsor to brew a batch of Mutual Aid beer. While Aron Levin, brewmaster for St. Florian's and a Windsor fire captain, worked days and nights during the fires, Norgrove, a former volunteer firefighter himself, stepped in to help by providing ingredients and manpower to support St. Florian as Captain Levin helped save the community.

In addition to mutual aid, Bear Republic also released Sonoma Pride, another one-of-a-kind brew that was available throughout Sonoma County. Immediately after the fires, Bear Republic reached out through its wholesalers and received their support through matching funds and one-time donations for fire victims.

'Many of our U.S. distributors contributed, making this a truly nationwide effort,' Norgrove added.

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