As the story goes, after a day of fighting harsh brushfires in the Glendale Mountains, Rob Nowaczyk wanted one thing. A great beer. He took this astonishingly bright light bulb of an idea and combined the commitment for both firefighting and premium crafted ales into an innovative company that keeps focus close to home with a portion of proceeds going to National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. A true fairy tale ending with top distributors Coors and Budweiser picking up the label, Fireman’s Brew drank up the rewards stemming from their choice to give back, receiving just as much in return Saturday night, December 3, 2011.
Walking up to the door of 1835 silhouetted by the sound of club music, I was at the right location for The Fireman’s Brew 5th Annual Christmas Party. This year, they upped the ante by making their company Christmas gathering a fundraiser, with profits benefiting National Fallen Fire Fighters Foundation. No one was shy about the $50 ticket price that celebrated the holidays while simultaneously helping charity and highlighting recent launch of Fireman’s Brew in over 250 Ralph Grocery Stores. They have set their goal at donating over $1,000,000 within the next five years.
The open bar was getting hit hard with demands for bottles of Fireman’s Brew as friends, family, and co-workers enjoyed the night away from office or firehouse. The evening included DJ Five Star, professional photographer Laura Lichter of Precious Pix Photography as well as a four course menu affair prepared and served by 1835 staff and executive chef, formerly of Ketchup. Ending dinner on a highnote, the celebrations continued well into the early morning with after party until 2 am with DJ Danny Carter. Tasteful in choice of venue, 1835 (previously Wonderland) owner and partner of Potential Entertainment Alan Moore spoke of just how far they are taking the concept of this charitably profitable company originating in 2008, revealing plans for Fireman’s Brew Restaurant & Pubs.
The secret lies in key player Chief Operating Officer David Johnson, who is credited with the new, invigorated success of this relatively small company with a big idea. Brad Caraway has hit marketing dead on with Tom Nikosey embodying the most important part of a new commercially successful company-authentic branding. Launched in a multitude of bars and restaurants, grocery stores, and liquor retailers (over 625 locations in Southern California), the microbrew line of finely crafted beer goes classically distinct, and you go home with a one liner to remember them by, “Extinguish Your Thirst, Ignite The Party.” The company thrives on its intricate simplicity, from the names of each beer; The Blonde, The Brunette, and The Redhead to the titles of their “On-Duty” “Three Alarm” and “False Alarm” gourmet coffees.
From one desire after a long, dangerous day as a local firefighter from District #7 West Hollywood to a full on, highly profitable, commercially flourishing business in three short years (give or take seven), it is no wonder everyone was having a great time. Special thanks to Chairman of Fireman’s Brew and host for the evening, Rob Nowaczyk who is funny and personable as hell. This guy hasn’t stopped working hard for the community for the past eighteen years; now Fireman’s Brew will continue his tradition and legacy.