Brewing up hurricane relief: A new beer named IRMA is helping feed Florida

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — Throwing a cold one back after dealing with Hurricane Irma is a great idea, but not for the reason you might be thinking. As Hurricane Irma was brewing in the Atlantic Ocean, local brewers were already discussing how they could help those impacted by the storm. These brewers did what they do best and decided to brew beer.

“We spoke with some of our suppliers, and they agreed to donate all of the ingredients and their services. As soon as they said we’ll donate everything, all of a sudden I had too much ingredients,” recalled Khris Johnson, Head Brewer at Green Bench Brewing Company in St. Petersburg.

All of those donations allow 100 percent of the proceeds from the beer named IRMA to be given to Feeding Florida. Johnson explains that organization’s hurricane relief efforts are targeting food and water for those still recovering.

The name IRMA means more than just the hurricane that caused so much devastation across the state.

“It’s an IPA. The focus is hops in an IPA, so we decided to spell out IRMA as an acronym. The first hop is Idaho 7, a fairly new varietal. Then, we have Rakau which is a New Zealand varietal. We have Mosaic, which is an American varietal, and then we have Amarillo which is an American varietal,” Johnson explained.

All the hops combine to form IRMA, a flavorful beer with lots of aroma.

“The flavor profile of this IRMA IPA is going to be fairly light on the palate. It won’t be heavy on the mouth feel. It will be very dry,” said Johnson.

With the large amount of supplies and services donated to this effort, Johnson reached out to other breweries across the state to brew the same beer and bring in more money for Feeding Florida.

One large batch of IRMA beer was brewed at Green Bench Brewing Co. and another batch was brewed in Jacksonville at Intuition Ale Works.

“We have one near the Jupiter area called Civil Society, and they’re going to produce one there. We’ll have one in Miami at MIA Beer Company,” said Johnson.

You can buy six packs of IRMA at Green Bench Brewing Company along with pints for $6. You can also enjoy the beer at Coppertail Brewing in Tampa and both locations of Seventh Sun Brewing in Dunedin and Seminole Heights.

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