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He just became a world champion. Now this Valley native is getting a signature beer

Hear from WBC super lightweight world champion Jose Ramirez

Jose Ramirez defeated Amir Imam by unanimous decision to become the WBC super lightweight world champion on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
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Jose Ramirez defeated Amir Imam by unanimous decision to become the WBC super lightweight world champion on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.

Jose Ramirez was a source of pride for the central San Joaquin Valley even before he faced off in a televised matchup at Madison Square Garden last weekend to become the WBC world super lightweight boxing champion.

Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company did well in naming its latest tribute brew in honor of the Avenal native. The Pride of the Valley: World Champion IPA will be released in limited quantities Saturday as part of the brewery's annual FresYes Fest. Ramirez will be at the event to meet with fans in his first local appearance since the match.

“We’re thrilled that he’s choosing FresYes Fest for his first appearance. We encourage everyone to come celebrate him and our great community," says Tioga-Sequoia president Michael Cruz..

Each year, the brewery creates several specialty beers just for the festival. The tribute beers specifically honor people and institutions working to create a sense of community within the city, and especially in the downtown area. Last year, the Fresno Grizzlies were honored with a peanut-and-cracker jack brown ale. In 2016, then-mayor Ashley Swearengin was honored with a strawberry blonde ale, because both she and the brewery have a good sense of humor about things.

Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin helped with the official release of the tribute beer named after her - the Swearengin Strawberry Blonde Ale - during the 2016 FresYes Fest at Tioga-Sequoia Brewing Company in downtown Fresno on Saturday, March 26, 2016.

Valley Pride is a bright and juicy, hazy (people love the haze) IPA with tropical flavors and a fruity hop finish.

As a feel-good bonus for drinkers, all sales from the brew will go to Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Avenal. Ramirez says the money will be used to build a new, bigger church.

"The one there now is too small and people stand up during Mass or even listen outside," he says. "Building a bigger church will definitely help people go and keep their faith strong."

FresYes Fest runs from 1-11 p.m. at the brewery's beer garden at 745 Fulton St. and will include food trucks, vendors and live music. The festival is free to attend and open to all ages.

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Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee
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