TODAY: Municipal Brew Works will again honor Patrick Wolterman with a special brew

Municipal Brew Works will again raise a glass to honor Patrick Wolterman, a fallen Hamilton firefighter.

The Woltermelon Blond Ale will be celebrated on Thursday with a tapping party at the brewery starting at 3 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Companions on a Journey Grief Counseling Center in West Chester.

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“This is our third time brewing the beer,” co-founder and CEO of Municipal Brew Works Jim Goodman said. “It has developed an amazing following and has become a summer favorite.”

Wolterman, a Roger Bacon High School graduate, was killed in the line of duty while battling a fire at a Hamilton home in December 2015. The deadly fire was later determined to be intentionally set, and arsonists Lester Parker and William Tucker were charged with Wolterman’s murder. He was 28 years old.

“We lost one of our own,” Goodman previously told the Journal News. “Patrick was a person (who) dedicated his life to the protection of others in this community.”

Following Wolterman’s death, Municipal Brew Works decided they wanted to honor his memory and worked with the fire department to come up with the perfect legacy.

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As the story goes, Wolterman was at a summer picnic when his beer supply ran low and he was forced to drink his wife’s watermelon-flavored beer. Much to his surprise, he liked it.

Municipal Brew Works now hopes to make the Woltermelon tapping party an annual event to remind the community of the men and women who protect them.

“I couldn’t appreciate honoring his memory more,” Hamilton Fire Chief Mark Mercer said. “Things are in the spotlight for a short time and five years later people don’t remember what happened, but putting Patrick’s name on the ale is a great thing for the sacrifice he and his family have made.”

Even local lawmakers have taken to preserve the memory of Hamilton’s fallen. Ohio Rep. Wes Retherford introduced a bill earlier this year moving to rename part of Ohio Route 4, from North Fair Avenue to High Street, in honor of Wolterman. Retherford’s bill was added to House Bill 347 and was recently signed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

“Patrick died a hero serving this community, and his sacrifice to this community is recognized,” Retherford said.

Thursday night will also host an Alive After Five event and concert at RiverEdge Amphitheater that will benefit the first responders of Hamilton. Community First Solutions has put together a “Fill the Boot” fundraiser dedicated to supporting the police and fire departments. Munici

Part of the excitement of Thursday night’s festivities, Goodman said, is just being able to bring together the Hamilton community in the name of Wolterman. The Woltermelon is not only a beer, but an inspiration to appreciate civil servants who put themselves in harm’s way.

“Not only is it a beer, but it represents purpose,” Goodman said. “We’re passionate about the beers, and we’re passionate about being involved in the community. If you can bring people together for a cause, that’s just a really special thing.”

Staff wrtiers Michael D. Pitman and Wayne Baker contributed to this report.

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