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Boatyard Brewing preparing new beer to honor Chief Ed Switalski

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Boatyard Brewing preparing new beer to honor Chief Ed Switalski (Jason Puhr/WWMT)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A local brewery has begun prepping a beer which they said has been created in honor of the former Comstock Fire Chief Ed Switalski. He was killed in June while responding to a crash I-94 when a different driver crashed into him with his car.

Kevin Thomspon with the Kalamazoo Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society, F.O.O.L.S, said the beer is a red ale, named Fast Eddie.

"We chose to go with Fast Eddie, and the reason for that: he was always on the go, always moving around," said Thompson. "In and out of the stations. Obviously he would stop and help with whatever was needed, but he was just always on the go."

The beer is now being made at Boatyard Brewing, and will be available on September 9th at a pre-registered party.

"The beer is actually being released on my parents wedding anniversary coincidentally," said Emily Switalski, Ed's daughter. "So, it's going to be really exciting for us to salute their marriage and him in an exciting way."

Emily said events like these are bittersweet, but overall she's proud to see her father honored with this beer.

"Before we moved to Michigan he did not like beer at all, and so then once we moved here he started really getting into it," said Switalski. "I think this is a great way to honor him because he was just so much more than fire chief. And, I feel like this gets to show people the more everyday side of him."

Thompson said the beer is based off a red ale that Switalski used to love. He's hoping it will be an easy-drinking beer that all can enjoy.

"It's one way for those outside the fire service to help memorialize Ed and honor him in their own special way, said Thompson.

Emily Switalski said her dad would love to have a beer named after him, but he would find a way to stay humble.

"He always had such a dad humor and so he would probably be making some dad joke about it," said Switalski.