This year's participants in the Sweet Fire beer collaboration at Empire Farm Brewery in cazenovia. (courtesy Empire Brewing Co.)
Back in 2014, Empire Brewing Company planned a special collaboration project in recognition of all the amazing ladies leading the pack in the craft beer scene. Five women from New York City were invited to participate in the inaugural brew by beer industry women. The guest brewsters were thrilled and proposed a new beer style incorporating bold flavors and uncommon ingredients.
Sharing their vision, Empire’s Head Brewer Tim Butler developed a recipe unlike any other. The collaboration’s success in 2014 made this an instant tradition for Empire Brewing Company and the ladies of Sweet Fire.
Sweet Fire is an imperial stout brewed and fermented with cocoa nibs and a special chili blend giving it a tantalizing chocolate aroma and flavor with a heat that creeps onto the palate and builds into a beautiful balance of sweetness and spice.
Since that first brew in 2014, the Sweet Fire project has grown well beyond New York State lines. This year’s participants were invited back to Central New York to brew on Empire’s state of the art, production style brewery at a quantity for mass distribution in kegs throughout New York State.
The women of Sweet Fire 2018 are entrepreneurs, sales women, cicerones, managers, writers and representatives to some of the top beer establishments in the Northeast.
Sidney Stehle, Empire’s NYC brand manager looks forward to this annual tradition. “The Sweet Fire series is really special. It’s been a great experience getting to know all these bright women, some of whom are leading my favorite bars and brewpubs. We share some pints and we share our stories.”
Sweet Fire launched Feb. 23 at both the Empire Farm Brewery and Empire Brewpub in Syracuse. Draft will also be available at select locations throughout New York State.
The brewsters from Empire’s fourth annual collaboration are:
Jen Keppard — Buffalo Tap House & Grill, Buffalo
Erin Hopkins — Vestal Ale House, Vestal
Carolyn — Stag’s Head Ale House, New York City
Carissa Monahan — Branching Out Bottle Shop, Camillus
Amy Mix — Wegmans, Canandaigua
Kate Amos — Blue Smoke, New York City
Sidney Stehle — Empire Brewing Co, New York City
Kim Killagrew — The Beehive Brewpub, Canandaigua
Tracy Sidmore — The Beehive Brewpub, Canandaigua
Jocelyn Feldmeth — Empire Brewing Co, Syracuse
Tiffany Rogers — Empire Brewing Co, Cazenovia
Lindsay Rich — 1911 Established, Rochester
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.