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Swept by Fire Collaboration Beer

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Members of the San Francisco Brewers Guild have united once again to create a unique beer for SF Beer Week. This year’s collaboration was made at Fort Point Beer Company, and it’s called Swept by Fire. It will debut at the SF Beer Week Opening Gala on February 6th, and then be released at select bars and restaurants throughout the Bay Area.

Swept by Fire pays tribute to San Francisco’s historic brewing industry, which was devastated on the morning of April 18, 1906. At precisely 5:12am, San Francisco was tossed into chaos. The great earthquake struck, and the ensuing fire destroyed 80% of the city. The profound loss of life and destruction, altered lives, businesses, and entire industries.

San Francisco’s brewing industry was thriving at the time. Twenty-five breweries were operating, and according to the American Brewers Review, fourteen of them were either badly damaged or destroyed. They included the Albany Brewery, Willows Brewery, Wreden Brewery, and Anchor Brewery, just to name a few.

Theodore Rueger, from Benicia Brewery, visited San Francisco shortly after the fire ended. He walked for miles among the ruins to see what happened to his colleague’s breweries. In one location he observed “a kettle standing on a hill, the only thing to indicate that the Anchor Brewery had been there.” Despite the tragedy and hardship, many of the brewers bounced back, and served thirsty San Francisco citizens as they rebuilt this great city.

Ruined-Breweries

Swept by Fire honors these brewers. In simple terms, the beer is a hoppy smoked pale ale, but what it offers is quite delicate and complex. Pale and Munich are the primary base malts. Then the smoky component was added using beechwood-smoked malt from Brewers Supply Group, and charred almond wood supplied by Smokestack at Magnolia Brewery. The logs were charred at Fort Point and placed in the brew kettle during the whirlpool phase of production.

On the hoppy side of things, Mosaic, Mandarina Bavaria, Citra, Galaxy, and El Dorado hops were added during the boil phase. Then, while the beer was in a secondary fermentor, it was dry-hopped with generous amounts of Hallertau Blanc, Citra, and El Dorado. Special thanks to Cellarmaker Brewing for their Citra donation, and to our friends at Knee Deep Brewing in Auburn, CA, for offering their Galaxy hops.

The finished beer is 6.2% alcohol by volume, and contains 42 IBU’s. Fort Point brewmaster, Mike Schnebeck, described the color as “rich goldenrod, with sticky tropical and sweet citrus aromas, leading into a mellow sweet smoke flavor upfront, that flows into a soft bitterness escorted by cool fruit and pine.”

If you’re interested in serving Swept by Fire at your bar or restaurant, please contact Matt Colling: mattcolling@fortpointbeer.com.

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