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Breweries Unveil ‘Worcester’s Bravest’ in Honor of Fallen Firefighter

February 2, 2019 GMT

WESTMINSTER -- Great taste, greater cause.

Beer enthusiasts on Friday celebrated the release of “Worcester’s Bravest,” a special ale developed by two local breweries to benefit the family of a fallen Worcester firefighter. The brew was officially unveiled in the taprooms of the Wachusett Brewing Company and the Wormtown Brewery in Worcester on Friday, and all proceeds from the sale of the beer will go to the Ava Roy Fund. Ava Roy is the nine-year-old daughter for Worcester firefighter Christopher Roy, who was killed in the line of duty in December.

Keith Hamilton of Worcester said he was there to support the Roy family and show that the community was behind them.

″(The tragedy) strikes us pretty hard, so it’s important that everybody comes out and shows their support,” Hamilton said.

The ale is a Belgian Wit, a light, unfiltered wheat beer that was specially whipped up after the two breweries asked members of the Worcester Fire Department what kind of ale they would like, according to Christian McMahan, the president of the Wachusett Brewing Company.

“We wanted their blessing, obviously,” McMahan said. “Their one kind of joke was to just not make anything too ‘hoppy.’ I guess a lot of firefighters don’t like a lot of those IPAs and bitter beers.” He said the Belgian Wit contained a lot of orange flavorings to make it more accessible to even the most casual beer drinkers. “Not everyone is a craft beer drinker but they want to support the cause, so this is something everyone can drink but it still has a lot of character and flavor.”

Leominster firefighter Kim Bonney said the standing-room-only crowd was a display of just how much first responders supported each other in their times of need.

“When you lose (someone), you lose a family member not matter what department it is,” Bonney said. “So we’re here to support a brother and support a family.”

The taste reviews at the event, which featured a bagpipe performance by Worcester Fire Brigade Pipes and Drums, were mostly positive.

“It’s pretty good,” said Merkendrick Thompson of Fitchburg. “Actually, I think it’s one of my favorites here, and I come here a lot.”

In addition to being on tap, Worcester’s Bravest is also available in 32-ounce cans, which customers were buying by the armload. McMahan said they would continue to brew the beer as long as their is public demand.

“We want to support the foundation so we’ll keep making it as long as people keep buying it,” McMahan said.

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