California Artist Honors Slain Officers With Beer Labels

Jan 9, 2014 4:09pm

Two California police officers killed in the line of duty will be memorialized in an atypical way: on a beer bottle.

Graphic artist Chris Hernandez has teamed up with the Wicks Brewing Co. to create two signature beer bottles honoring Riverside police Officer Michael Crain and San Bernardino County sheriff’s Deputy Jeremiah MacKay, both killed in the Christopher Dorner rampage in February of 2013.

“This really hit home for me,” Hernandez told ABC News. ”When I got the job from Wicks I was totally excited.”

WATCH: Christopher Dorner Allegedly Took His Own Life in Standoff

One of the people Dorner killed in his nine-day shooting spree-turned manhunt was a women’s basketball coach at Hernandez’s alma mater, Cal State Fullerton.

Hernandez never met the officers for whom he created the labels but got involved when the Riverside brewery’s owners contacted him after viewing his website. He said Wicks’ owners already had an idea of what they wanted on the label after talking to the family.

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                                  (Photo Credit: Rachel Luna/The Sun (Los Angeles News Group)

Officer Crain was responsible for busting down doors during SWAT raids so his fellow officers nicknamed him the “Freight Crain.” His design is a bull’s head on a charging train.

“It’s such a great way to memorialize him, I think. Instead of being something that is negative and thinking about what happened, this is something he enjoyed,” his sister Regina Crain told ABC News station KABC-TV in Los Angeles.

READ: LAPD Reopens Case That Led to Suspected Cop-Killer’s Firing

As for officer MacKay, his family’s request was a bit more detailed. Hernandez said they wanted a sheepdog playing the bagpipe, his police call number, 14D2, the crest of the family and a bullfrog.

From there, it was up to Hernandez to create the design, adding his own little touches. He added a thin blue line as a  symbol of the police department.

 

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                                                                                             (Courtesy: Chris Hernandez)

The craft beers are not only named after the officers, they also reflect their personalities and tastes. For Crain, it’s a chocolate milk stout. “A good, strong, dark beer was where we were going with that,” Ryan Wicks of Wicks Brewing told KABC.

And for MacKay, it’s an Irish ale. “So we wanted to keep it as an Irish with an American influence in it,” Wicks said.

Hernandez said the officers’ families couldn’t be more pleased with his work. “They loved it.” Hernandez told ABCNews. “When I talked to Mike’s dad, he said he would have really loved this design.”

After meeting with the families, Hernandez said his goal with the labels couldn’t be more clear.

“My whole quest is to have these two officers remembered without the shooting rampage,” Hernandez said.

He said the media attention surrounding the labels hasn’t led to more work just yet, but that doesn’t appear to bother him.

“To get a hug from Mike’s dad and saying, ‘We love you for doing this’ is the reward,” he said.

The brewery has not yet provided a comment to ABC News.

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