Arizona brews a special batch to honor Granite Mountain Hotshots

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PRESCOTT, Ariz. -- A special batch of beer is brewing at the Prescott Brewing Company.

Members of the Arizona Brewers Guild got together to create a blend called "Heroes 19,'' in honor of the fallen Granite Mountain Hotshot crew.

Firefighter Joe Thurstson, who died fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire, worked at the Prescott Brewing Company for several years, while training to become a Hotshot.

"He was a great guy and a pleasure to work with," owner John Nielsen said as he and the other Guild members began mixing the new beer.

"This is very unique. We've never done anything like this before," said Guild Executive Director Jerry Gantt.

"We've never had a cause to do something like this really," added Roxane Nielsen.

To make 'Heroes 19,' they used 19 kinds of hops, and say it will rate a 19 on the color scale. All proceeds will go to firefighter charities.

In two weeks, 120 kegs-worth of the beer will finish fermenting.  It will be distributed to dozens of Brewers Guild members around Arizona.

"It's not a beer they're going to chug. It's going to mean something when they drink that beer," said Roxane Nielsen.

"We've done collaboration brews in the past. This one has a little more meaning to it," Gabriel Wilson of SanTan Brewing in Chandler added.