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York brewing company honors fallen firemen with a tribute on tap

Liquid Hero Brewery's "Fuel Their Fire" commemorates the fifth anniversary of the losses of Ivan Flanscha and Zachary Anthony.

YORK, Pa. — Retired York City fireman George Sheffer was on North Broad Street the day firemen Ivan Flanscha and Zach Anthony answered their last alarm.

"It's hard to believe it's been five years," Sheffer said. "It seems just like yesterday."

Five years after their passing on March 22, 2018, Ivan and Zach are still being honored.

"They were two of the best firefighters that the city had," Scheffer said. 

Liquid Hero Brewery has called York its home for nearly 15 years, and within that time has become a home for some of the city's heroes; a handful of firefighters still come together monthly on the 22nd.

"We thought, you know what, let's use let's use this brewery as an avenue to help support a good cause," Liquid Hero Brewery Co-Owner Christian Quinlivan said. "If you're going to be in the community, be a part of the community and help out."

The newest release from the company on North Street is the "Fuel Their Fire" Red Ale, named after the scholarship honoring Ivan and Zach of the same name.

"Maybe this beer is just a little bit of a release for them," Quinlivan said. "Just to be able to say 'Hey, let's cheers to those boys, Ivan and Zack.' You know, do something good."

That "something good" can be found on the corner of North Broad and East Philadelphia Street in York at The Ivan and Zach Memorial Garden, which is set to be dedicated on March 22.

"It's just another piece in the puzzle to honor," Scheffer said.

Honoring Ivan and Zach is a way to strengthen the bond between firefighters in the department, including those with newer recruits.

"I love spending time with the guys outside of work as well, which happens quite often," Firefighter Ryan Bowman, who started with YCFD in 2022, said. "It's a tight-knit group, and it's awesome to actually be a part of it."

Bowman knew Ivan Flanscha before becoming a volunteer four years ago. His father was Flanscha's captain.

"They gave the ultimate sacrifice and, and gave their lives in the line of duty," Bowman said. "Telling their stories is the best way to keep them alive." 

The limited-run "Fuel Their Fire" beer can be found at several York bars and restaurants, with a portion of sales supporting the garden.

"Every year, we do a little salute to them," Quinlivan said. "I got 10 kegs open right now, so as long as those 10 kegs last, that's how long it's gonna be here."

Scheffer says the support from the Brewery and the community means a lot to the department and those that knew Ivan and Zach.

"These guys have just been really, really outstanding for supporting us and continuing to memorialize Ivan and Zach.," Scheffer said. "They are sorely missed daily."

Two heroes missed, and remembered, with a red ale.

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