Coors and Chase team up to fight fires…with beer

Chase Rice grew up with a father who drank Coors Banquet, and that’s what eventually led him to partner with the brand to raise money to support firefighters and their efforts.

“The (partnership) really started when I was a kid,” says the country music singer and songwriter. “My dad, who was a residential contractor, would come home and that’s what he was drinking. I remember him sitting on the porch with him drinking Banquet.

“Later, my mother gave me a booklet from when I was born until my father died – and he died when I was 22. In that booklet was a picture of him in Wyoming, fisting two Coors Banquets with his cowboy hat on.”

Rice says he always knew he wanted to use this photo as an album cover, but it wasn’t until he started working on his latest album – an unnamed album due out later this year – that he and his team approached Coors for permission to use the photo. “It started the conversation, and then it evolved into me working with Coors Banquet as a partnership alongside the Wildland Firefighers,” Rice said.

Coors Banquet has just announced its “Protect Our Protectors” program. In an effort to raise awareness and funds for wildfire crews, Coors Banquet is selling limited-edition Protect Our Protectors chunky bottles, which just debuted and are now on shelves, profits being donated to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation and other local firefighter organizations across the country. The brand is also teaming up with Californian clothing brand Brixton to create a limited Protect Our Protectors capsule collection available this month on shop.coors.com. Proceeds from the collection will also be donated to the Wildland Firefighter Foundation.

As part of her partnership, Rice spent a day training and working with firefighters in Boise, Idaho. “People would be surprised how quickly these fires take hold, Rice said. “I always thought if there was a fire you just had to go in a different direction or find another part of the woods, but the reality is that fires set in so quickly and it becomes so dangerous in minutes. They can destroy an entire mountain range or a national park.

Rice says his training as a sniper and as a jumper has better informed him of what these firefighters risk every day. “They’re fighting Mother Nature, and Mother Nature is extremely powerful,” Rice says. “During the training, they showed how quickly a fire can start in less than 30 seconds. It only takes a few hours for an entire mountain range to be covered in fire.

Rice hopes this partnership and program will spread greater awareness and encourage more people to become firefighters or at least donate to help protect our American West. “I like to help those who serve us,” he says.

Rice says he’ll probably write a few songs about his training experience as a firefighter. “Usually that’s where my songs come from — they come from real-life experiences,” Rice says. “I can’t imagine it won’t inspire me to write songs about it.”