Craft Beer Community Stays Strong in Aftermath of Disaster

By Kirby Bennett

It seems that whenever there is a storm or other natural disaster, craft brewers step up to help each other and their surrounding communities. This week in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the largest-diameter Atlantic hurricane on record, things are no different.

Brewery Ommegang | Cooperstown, N.Y.

In a move that epitomizes the camaraderie of the craft brewing industry, Brewery Ommegang is offering to help any breweries hit by the storm. The brewery posted a message from President/CEO Simon Thorpe on their Facebook page: “Brewery Ommegang is fortunate to have been undamaged by Hurricane Sandy. After seeing the devastation wreaked across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, we’d like to offer our assistance and support to other breweries that may have suffered from the storm. If you think we could assist you in any way, please get in touch with Brewmaster Phil Leinhart or our President/CEO, Simon Thorpe.”

Sixpoint Brewery | Brooklyn, N.Y.

Sixpoint posted the picture below on their Facebook of damage, stating: “The Mad Scientists will be back up and brewing as soon as we have power restored.”


Sixpoint Brewery post Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Irene, 2011

You may remember hearing of the damage to the The Alchemist Brewery in 2011 due to flooding from Hurricane Irene. In a blog post after the storm, “More Than One Building,” Owner John Kimmich described the effects of the storm: “On the night of August 28, the Winooski River jumped its banks and laid waste to the town of Waterbury. It was an indescribable feeling watching the muddy flood waters roll over the floor of the pub… It was an extremely trying week, made considerably more bearable by the overwhelming support of our valued employees and customers.”

In his blog he also thanks Steve Miller at Harpoon Brewery, Matt Nadeau at Rock Art Brewery, and Shaun Hill of Hill Farmstead Brewery for their immediate help in saving some of salvageable beer.

Learn more about The Alchemist in “A Flood of Support.”

Hurricane Katrina, 2005

In response to Hurricane Katrina, Abita Brewing Company in Abita Springs, La., was miraculously spared of any catastrophic damage. They decided to help others by doing what they do best…making beer. One dollar from every six-pack of Restoration Pale Ale® was donated to the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation, eventually contributing $550,000 to the recovery effort.

Our hearts and best wishes go out to all those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy, and we applaud the craft beer community for its continual commitment to help out in whatever way possible no matter what storm is brewing.


Kirby BennettKirby Bennett’s love of craft beer started in 2002 when she was living in Amsterdam and discovered an amazing bottleshop called De Bierkoning. A long ways now from sipping La Trappe on the canals, she is currently the Craft Beer Program intern for the Brewers Association. She is a Cicerone® Certified Beer Server, holds a BA in English, dabbles in homebrewing, and makes a mean quinoa salad. She hopes to continue her career somewhere in the distribution world, then someday open a sustainable beer bar in whatever city she decides to settle in!