Top 5 Beers of the Week

1. Cold Chillin’ Vanilla Cream Ale from Wild Ride Brewing

2. Wizard Falls IPA from Bridge 99 Brewery

3. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing

4. Gypsy Coolship #1 — Wild Grisette from Crux Fermentation Project

5. Total Domination IPA from Ninkasi Brewing

For the fifth year in a row, Silver Moon Brewing Company is figuratively giving cancer the middle finger with its F* Cancer IPA and fundraising campaign.

Starting in 2015, the goal of the program has been “to spread awareness, develop communities and support the mission of our nonprofits’ fights against cancer.” Proceeds from the beer sales are donated to organizations such as the American Cancer Society.

In 2018, the brewery raised just over $50,000 to fight the disease; this year, the goal is to reach $75,000. Silver Moon partnered with the American Cancer Society, Knight Cancer Institute and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon & SW Washington to expand the reach of the campaign, with this goal in mind.

The F* Cancer program is in full swing until the end of August, and according to owner James Watts, “the campaign is going bananas this year! Beer is sold out in Northern California and Washington, Portland can’t get enough and Idaho seeing twice the volume as last year.” The brewery has been hosting events across the Pacific Northwest as well as in Colorado and will continue through the summer.

According to Finn Leahy, Silver Moon’s field marketing manager, the brewery has brewed 200 barrels of the IPA so far and is on track for more than double that amount. “I bet when it is all said and done we will brew another 300 barrels to make a total of 500 in a three-month window,” he said via email. To put that into context, one barrel equals 31 gallons, or about 330 12-ounce cans of beer. 500 barrels would yield over 165 thousand cans.

F* Cancer is not just available in the Pacific Northwest. Silver Moon partnered with online beer retailer Tavour to be able to offer it to 20 states, and according to Leahy, Tavour already sold out its initial run. The retailer is offering the beer in two-packs and has ordered 450 additional units to sell online.

How is the beer itself? The brewery provided me with samples to review, and I found it to be a solid Northwest-style IPA. The beer consists of a fairly simple grain bill, with two-row, Vienna and caramel malts, and Chinook and Azacca hops. It is 6% alcohol by volume with 65 IBUs.

It pours orange in color with an unfiltered appearance and a creamy, lacy head of foam. The aroma gives off notes of tangerine, citrus peel, pine and a floral, herbal bitterness. There is a fresh greens bitterness in the flavor, with a lightly caramel malt body and a sticky hop finish. To my taste it’s an easy-drinking beer that encourages a second glass.

Pay special attention to the label as well. Silver Moon featured the names of over 750 cancer survivors and fighters on the label, and in fact there were so many names that two different labels had to be created. The first lists names alphabetized by first name for letters A through K, and the second includes letters L through Z. The brewery notes “you may have to do some searching to find the right bottle/can at your local store.”

Silver Moon is donating $1 from every six-pack sold in the market ($2 if purchased at the Bend pub), as well as $1 from every pint sold in the pub, and $25 from every keg in the market to its nonprofit partners. And 100% of the profits generated from the F* Cancer merchandise, available online, is also donated.

F* Cancer IPA is a drinkable, enjoyable summertime IPA you’ll want to check out, and you’ll be helping to fight cancer while doing so. I plan to drink more before the program ends in August, and I hope you will too.

— Jon Abernathy is a beer writer and blogger and launched The Brew Site (http://www.thebrewsite.com) in 2004. He can be reached at jon@thebrewsite.com .

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