MI firefighter honored by having beer named after him - WNEM TV 5

MI firefighter honored by having beer named after him

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KALAMAZOO, MI (CBS) -

A beloved firefighter who died trying to help someone was honored on Jan. 13 in a unique way with a beer being named after him.

Beer wasn’t Ed Switalski’s first choice for a drink.

“When he came here from Illinois, he was not a huge beer fan at all,” said Kevin Thompson, one of Switalski’s friends.

A few trips to the Boatyard Brewing Company in Kalamazoo changed his tune.

But friends say his true drink of choice was Traverse City Whiskey.

So, in honor of the fallen Comstock Fire Chief, Boatyard Brewing released a new beer on Jan. 13. for an event fittingly called, Together for Ed.

“I was able to name it D*mnit Ed! like you should be here to taste this awesomeness, but yes, we’re super excited,” said Holly Switalski, Ed’s wife.

This special beer has been aged in a barrel and donated from Traverse City Whiskey.

“A lot of our regular customers become family to us and when Ed passed it was hard for us,” said Brian Steele, the CEO & President of Boatyard Brewing Company. “It was really hard for the firefighters and for Holly and her family and we all kinda came together. We support them.”

The Comstock Community lost Ed Switalski in June of 2017 after responding to a crash on I-94.

Holly said he was a man who put family first but his purpose in life was serving his community. She said that’s what keeps her going.

“I know that Ed would do anything possible to support a good cause and I feel like he is the wind beneath my wings right now,” Holly said. “He is the one motivating me, carrying me through all of events and upcoming events.”

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