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Cardinals O-linemen, Arizona brewery create beer in honor of Pat Tillman

Arizona Cardinals offensive linemen have again teamed up with an Arizona brewery to create beer in honor of the revered and heroic Pat Tillman.

The iconic, former Cardinals defensive back of course left behind a promising NFL career to enlist in the U.S. Army in 2002 in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Tillman would lose his life on the battlefield on April 22, 2004 while deployed in Afghanistan. He was 27 years old.

Jon Buford and Pat Ware, co-founders of Arizona Wilderness Brewing, collaborated with former Cardinals offensive lineman Earl Watford (now a free agent) and current Cardinals tackle Jared Veldheer to develop a beer in honor of Tillman that would help benefit the Pat Tillman Foundation.

The result? O-Line Triple IPA, a sturdy and strong brew that comes in at 12 percent alcohol content thanks to the use of a staggering 42 hops, in honor of Tillman’s number at Arizona State, where Ware is also an alum.

“Forty-two hops is insane,” Buford said, via ESPN. “It is insane. The fact that I don’t think anyone has done that makes me excited because it’s not about Arizona Wilderness. It’s about the Pat Tillman name — the foundation name — so we really want you to associate that with the craziness that we’re doing.”

Veldheer and Watford, joined by fellow offensive linemen Evan Boehm, A.Q. Shipley, John Wetzel and Will Holden, attended Tuesday’s brewing.

The O-Line Triple IPA marks the third year Arizona Wilderness Brewing has partnered with the Cardinals to create a beer in tribute to Tillman. The goal this year is to $10,000 for the Pat Tillman Foundation.

“He’s a hero,” Veldheer said. “And everybody especially in the state of Arizona — pretty much throughout the United States — knows who Pat Tillman is and what he’s all about. The foundation is really cool because it allows veterans to continue education and to be set up for their time when the military’s done, and to be able to help with that is great.”