Fort Wayne's craft beer community has rallied in recent weeks to support former resident Phil Hyatt, who was robbed and shot near his Cincinnati home several months ago.
Hyatt, who formerly worked for an Indianapolis beer wholesaler, is a favorite among Fort Wayne beer fans, according to Tony Henry, owner of Deer Park Irish Pub. Henry's establishment was among several raising funds to defray Hyatt's medical costs, with an event that raised $7,000.
“Everyone who's met him has taken a real liking to Phil,” Henry said. “He's just a great, kind guy.”
Hyatt was severely injured in the mid-October assault, with injuries to his face and a broken vertebrae. He is now out of the hospital and recovering. The investigation is still open.
Summit City Brewerks held a fundraiser, All Stouts Day, on Nov. 7, with a portion of the cost of every stout going to Hyatt's medical costs. S&V Liquors auctioned off some hard-to-find craft beers. Trubble Brewing held a release party for its Monster Smash beer to raise funds for Hyatt, sponsoring an online silent auction. Belmont Beverage, JK O'Donnell's and the Dash In were also among supporters.
Sarah Koldewey, a Cavalier Distributing employee who worked with Hyatt for several years, said the community response was amazing.
“As bad as a thing it was to happen, it was great to see how everybody jumped in and held events to help out,” she said.