Fireman’s Brew, a craft brewery from the Los Angeles area, will soon distribute to Colorado through Republic National Distributing Company. The brewery was founded by two firefighters, Rob Nowaczyk and Ed Walker, who, despite co-founding a successful brewery, remain full-time firefighters.
The story of Fireman’s Brew began in 2000 when Nowaczyk and Walker were in the Glendale Mountains fighting the “Billy Goat” brushfire so nicknamed for the steep terrain, featuring 700-800 foot cliffs, with which firefighters had to contend. At around 12:30 am, after hours of fighting the blaze and with cantinas empty, Nowaczyk and Walker mused about how nice a cold beer would taste at that moment. From that instant of inspiration, the seed of Fireman’s Brew was planted.
Currently, Fireman’s Brew offers three beers: Blonde (5% ABV), a Pilsner, Brunette (8% ABV), a doppelbock, and Redhead (5.5% ABV), an amber ale. Nowaczyk offers suggested food pairings saying Blonde goes well with lighter fare such as chicken, pasta, or fish; Brunette with ten malts and a decedent chocolate and coffee flavor pairs with rich desserts; and the sweet-yet-hearty malt backbone of Redhead is excellent with steak or ribs. Fireman’s Brew may also release seasonal beers in the near future.
Five percent of all Fireman’s Brew profits benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation based in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Nowaczyk hopes to raise at least one million dollars for the foundation which provides support for the widows and children of fallen firefighters. In big cities like New York, Nowaczyk claims, there are already systems in place that provide such support but this is not the case in small, rural areas. That is why Nowaczyk finds it important to donate to a national foundation so that every firefighter in America benefits.
Fireman’s Brew also offers “on duty drinks” like coffee and soda to further “extinguish your thirst.”
In addition to Colorado, Fireman’s brew is also distributed to Chicago and Arizona was recently approved with Texas and Oklahoma in the works. The brewery is rapidly growing but the business was nearly shut down shortly after 9/11 because Nowaczyk and Walker didn’t wish to profit from a national tragedy. With enough time passed, Fireman’s Brew can continue raising funds for America’s bravest.
Fireman’s Brew is brewed at the Mendocino Brewing Company.
Tags: Amber Ale, cofee, craft beer, distribution, Doppelbock, Fallen Firefighters, firefighter, firefighters, Fireman's Brew, good cause, Mendocino Brewing, Mendocino Brewing Company, National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, pilsner, republic national, Republic National Distributing, Republic National Distributing Company, RNDC, soda