AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Regional breweries came together Friday night at the Austintown Plaza for the third Youngstown Craft Beer Fest.
The first thing you noticed was the coolers, filled with ice to keep the beer cold, lined up on tables.
Caitlyn Tizio said we’re in the middle of a craft beer boom in Youngstown. She grew up around New Castle and now works for Platform Brewery of Cleveland.
Masthead Brewery of Cleveland and Wild Ohio Brewery of Columbus also made an appearance at the beer fest.
“The amount of local breweries that have popped up in my neck of the woods, it’s almost hard to keep up,” said Dan Brewer, with Wild Ohio Brewery.
Among the local breweries pouring beer was Warren’s newest — Modern Methods.
“We’re the new brewery opening up in Dave Grohl Alley,” Tiffany Tatar said. “We’re not open quite yet but we’re going to have a sneak preview on St. Patrick’s Day.”
“We still have Bud Light, Miller Lite and Coors Light in bottle, but what we do on draft — everything is craft,” said Christian Rinehart, owner of O’Donold’s Irish Pub, which sponsors the event.
The beer fest started three years ago with 170 people. This year’s crowd was expected to be 500.
“You could see the maker mentality changing, where people want to make a difference to their local economy. So people are making their own jobs now by doing things they love,” Rinehart said.
Andy Conrad and his wife, both physical therapists, were introduced to craft breweries while traveling out west. Now they operate Sandy Springs Brewing Company in Minerva. First, they needed a license.
“We started the whole process of just getting our name trademarked, and finding a building and all that stuff about four-and-a-half years ago, so it’s taken us quite a while,” Conrad said.
The Youngstown Craft Beer Fest is a charity event. All the proceeds will go to Every Dog Matters — a Youngstown-based organization that feeds and cares for rescue dogs.