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January 2, 2019

Alumnus Josh Leavy, Founder of San Francisco Brewing Co., Joins Sierra Nevada’s Resilience IPA Camp Fire Relief Efforts



Josh and Aaron Leavy smile during their Camp Fire relief fundraiser in San Francisco.

Chico State alumnus Josh Leavy (Business, ’03), founder and owner of San Francisco Brewing Co., has joined more than 1,400 breweries across the nation to participate in the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Resilience IPA Camp Fire relief efforts.

The San Francisco brewery released the fundraiser beer in mid-December at its location in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco. The proceeds will go toward Sierra Nevada’s Camp Fire Relief Fund in an effort to support recovery from the most devastating wildfire in California history.

“It was a really easy call for me being a Chico State grad and being a part of the community that was affected,” said Leavy. “Chico meant a lot to me, and I wanted to give back as much as I could.”

Leavy has owned and operated San Francisco Brewing Co. for six years now, and is now six months into running a 12,000-square-foot brewpub and restaurant in downtown San Francisco. Leavy was initially inspired to start his own craft brewery after taking an entrepreneurship class at Chico State in 2003.

“The class project was to go find a business that you’d like to do one day, so I went to Butte Creek Brewing and did a story on them. I think the entrepreneurial spirit of making your own path and being a leader yourself really inspired me,” Leavy said.

Recalling his time at Chico State, he said his fondest memory was the strong sense of community he felt between the students and residents of Butte County.

“It was all about the community and education, and I think that’s what makes the College of Business so strong. The type of environment Chico has allows students and professors to work together and communicate. And when you’re in sales, it’s all about communication and follow-up—it’s all about camaraderie, trust, and rapport.”

After Sierra Nevada initiated the Camp Fire Relief Fund, breweries across the nation signed up to become a part of the massive fundraising production. The Chico-based brewery founded by alumnus Ken Grossman sent out a recipe for other breweries to follow, and many generous hop manufacturers and grain distributors donated supplies to make the IPA.

“They sent us a recipe and we followed it exactly, but some breweries are doing something a little different,” said Leavy. “It’s awesome to be a part of something so huge, people genuinely want to help in any way they can. We have a huge constituency of Chico alumni in the Bay Area, and it’s great getting these people together, to talk about our time at Chico State and to talk about how we can help Butte County moving forward. We had a great time there and we want other people to enjoy it as well.”


Kelsey Horne
College of Business
California State University, Chico
530-898-4255
khorne3@csuchico.edu