Local firefighter, nurse team up with Yachats Brewing to benefit first responders


Alysha and Jeff Gillies, left and second from right, founders of Tiller Malt Company, have partnered with Yachats Brewing Company to produce a beer called “First Responder,” which benefits its namesake. (Courtesy photos)

A local firefighter and a registered nurse have teamed up with Yachats Brewing to make a special batch of barley pop to benefit our local First Responders. When they’re not on the job or raising their two children, Jeff and Alysha Gillies have a unique way to spend time together: malting barley.

Driven by a desire to find locally sourced ingredients for his home brewing hobby, Jeff realized there was a shortage of locally grown and malted barley. So, they worked with local farmers and learned the craft of transforming specialty raw grain into a building block of tasty beer. They formed Tiller Malt Company and now supply local brewers and bakers with craft malt.

Remnants of Yachats’s logging roots backdrop the vibrant color, texture and flavor of locally grown produce, pasture-raised meats, handcrafted brews and house-fermented vegetables. Their sauerkraut, kimchi and garlic dill pickles bring living food fans from far and wide. Yachats Brewing’s restaurant/taproom features 30 taps, including 15-20 of their award-winning beers and house-made probiotic beverages.

Recently, Yachats’ head brewer, Aaron Gillham, collaborated with Tiller Malt to brew more than 2,400 pints of a delicious session IPA, called “First Responder.” In collaboration with Tiller Malt Company, Yachats Brewing will donate 100 percent of proceeds from this beer to local first responders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The proceeds will be distributed via grants from IAFF Local 1660 to help first responders with expenses resulting from the pandemic. Grant applications can be found at tillermalt.com.

Yachats Brewing is also buying a First Responder beer for any local first responder who shows their employee badge at Uptown Beer Co. in Portland, at their Scholls Ferry Road location, while supplies last. First Responder beer can be purchased and delivered through Uptown Beer Co.’s online store, as well.

To learn more, visit yachatsbrewing.com and tillermalt.com.