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Arizona beer makers to honor fallen firefighters

PHOENIX — Breweries across Arizona are coming together to raise money for the fallen Yarnell firefighters by creating a beer.

The new beer will be called Heroes 19, and will be an American-style ale with 19 types of hops for the 19 firefighters who died in the Yarnell fire.

All revenue from the sale of the beer will go towards the Prescott firefighter’s charity foundation. The Arizona Craft Brewers Guild helped coordinate all of the materials to be donated, and will help in the brewing process as well.

John Nielsen with Prescott Brewing Company agreed to have the beer made at his brewery. One of the victims, Joe Thurston, worked at Prescott Brewing Company for six years. Nielsen said he always knew Thurston’s true passion was firefighting.

“At a moment’s notice he’d just say ‘I’ve got a fire to go to’ so we’d let him go, and he’d go to the fire academy here in Embry Riddle and they’d have that every year,” Nielsen said. “His goal was to be a permanent member of that Granite Mountain hotshots team, and he finally got that opportunity to be a permanent member.”

He said it’s an honor to be involved in the process, and he just wanted to help in any way possible.

“To have these 19 souls taken from us in such a tragic way, so quick, we all want to do something,” Nielsen said.

For volunteer, fundraising and other ways to assist those affected by the Yarnell Hill Fire, go to