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Family and friends memorialize MSU’s Mike Sadler with celebration and honorary brew

Posted at 11:51 PM, Jul 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-24 04:11:34-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- On Sunday, Founders Brewing Co. debuted a new beer in honor of Mike Sadler. Sadler played for the Michigan State Spartans football team and died one year ago in a car crash.

He was formally a punter, but was volunteering as a kicking coach at the time of the tragedy.

Sadler was from West Michigan and played football at Forest Hills Northern, before signing with Spartans. His family said he was also a big fan of Founders and he spent a lot of time there. So, it was only fitting Founders named a beer after him in his honor.

“He was such a great Spartan and meant so much to so many different people," said MSU head football coach Mark Dantonio. " Not just as a football player, but as a person. He was quite a young man.”

Sunday afternoon marked the first annual Mike Sadler annual 'Celebration of Life.' The celebration also revealed the new brew in Sadler's name.

“It’s called Sadler’s Run and it’s apricot wheat and we’re brewing it here and serving it exclusively in his honor today,” said Chase Kushak, of Founders.

There was also a silent auction with some MSU memorabilia to help raise money for the Michael Sadler Foundation.

“Having everyone come together is like a really nice thing," said Elle Pizzo, an MSU cheerleader." "Having that bond with people you don’t even know is something special.”

It was also a sentiment echoed by Mike's mom, Karen Sadler.

"We have over 700 people here," she said. “I’m just so grateful that this many people wanted to come and honor the life of my son.”

Friends and family say Mike would have wanted this kind of celebration at Founders.

" One of his favorite things to do actually brew beer himself at home," said Mike's sister, Katie.  "So knowing that everybody is here drinking beer in honor of him he would love it. I’m sure he would love to be here.”

The brew, appropriately named, 'Sadler's Run' is available until they run out.