Hamilton’s Municipal Brew Works will again tap its special Woltermelon Blonde Ale to honor a fallen firefighter.
On Aug. 26, the brewery host a special tapping for the beer named in honor of Patrick Wolterman, who died Dec. 28, 2015, from injuries he sustained while battling a blaze at a Hamilton home.
“The beer is our Approachable Blonde Ale infused with fresh watermelons, and the Wolterman family along with the Hamilton fire department members will be there for the ceremonial first pour and toast,” Municipal Brew Works co-founder and CEO Jim Goodman said.
“This goes beyond just pouring beer,” Goodman told the Journal-News. “This is our chance to raise a toast to that special cut of person that runs toward danger in the name of protecting others.”
The brewery, which opened in June 2016 in the city’s former municipal building, plans to release the special brew annually as a “tribute to Patrick, the Wolterman family, the Hamilton Fire Department, and the brave men and women that serve to protect and keep this city safe,” he said.
A portion of proceeds from the sale of the beer will be donated to Companions on a Journey Grief Support in West Chester Twp., according to Goodman.
The brewery is also in talks with its distributor to have Woltermelon Blonde Ale sold in other local locations as a fundraiser.
“Our intent is to make a second batch of the beer specifically as a fundraiser for distribution within the (distributor’s) footprint,” Goodman said.
According to Goodman, the back-story of Woltermelon Blonde Ale comes from the firefighter running out of beer at a summer picnic and being forced to drink his wife’s watermelon-flavored beer.
“He actually liked it and turned some of the other attendees on to the beer,” Goodman said. “It was always the intent of Municipal Brew Works to infuse our Approachable Blonde into a summer seasonal beer of Approachable Blonde with watermelon. After we heard of Patrick’s story at the picnic, we asked if we could name the beer as a tribute to Patrick and his memory.”
Wolterman was the department’s first fatality in the line of duty since 1971. The fire he died in was later ruled an arson. Two men are set to face trial on charges of aggravated arson and murder for allegedly starting the fire.