YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Saturday’s annual Groundhog Beerfest was all about the suds and buds.
Brewers came out and showcased what they have to the community. Many got started in their garage with a home brewing kit. They’ll tell you its a lot of work, but coming out and sharing what they have with the community is what makes it all worth it.
Local and regional brewers pitched tents outside Stambaugh Auditorium to show off their boozy concoctions.
“Brewing beer, every one of them is different. Some of them are easy, some of them are hard – just the challenge,” said Lake Milton Brewing owner Donald Loveless.
Participants tasted new brews and old favorites.
“This is merry merry Milton from Lake Milton Brewing Company. I was there just a few weeks ago for the first time,” said beer connoisseur Nancy Treffort.
Many of the local breweries take their names from local history, such as Modern Methods in Warren.
“We got the name from a big sign that Warren City Hall put up in 1909. It celebrated the industry of the area… it said ‘Opportunity? It’s here! In Warren – a city of modern methods.’ It felt like appreciating and embracing the city’s industrial past. Modern methods, creating something modern and new,” said co-owner Adam Keck.
Like a car show for beer brewers, Groundhog Beerfest gives brewers a chance to talk shop and trade secrets.
“We get to hang out with our brewing friends in the industry. We do the exact same thing but we don’t get to interact a lot because we’re all busy keeping our own enterprises going,” Keck said.
They also get instant feedback from the community about their beers.
“We actually get to interact with the people who are passionate about craft beer in our area, like one-on-one communication,” Keck said.
“I highly recommend it,” Treffort said.
Next year’s Beerfest will be in February, similar to past years.