Eighty breweries are taking part in the Big Tap In, happening Saturday at the Metroplex in Liberty. It’s been five years since the last one and at that time, there was only one local microbrewery that participated. Now there are nine.
On Friday, Larry Wilson was setting up for the craft beer festival. Biker BrewHouse will have two beers available to taste — a Hot Blonde Habanero and a barrel-aged IPA.
“Developing the beers and the styles, it’s just like cooking. Anything you put in the beer, anything you can imagine, we can try to create,” Wilson said.
He created Biker BrewHouse, the first and only microbrewery located inside of a Harley Davidson dealership.
Wilson was a homebuilder until the market crashed. He has grown the brand from zero.
“I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri. I’m an Anheuser Busch kid. Grandfather worked there. Beer is in the blood,” he said.
Biker BrewHouse products are in 46 locations, including Cleveland.
Wilson said his business has doubled since he started and he thinks there’s plenty of local brew to go around.
“Today you might like my beer. Tomorrow you might like another beer. It all depends on the day of the week and what your taste profile is.”
Microbrewery is tough competition but Wilson said its been a super business.
The Big Tap In will feature nine Youngstown breweries. Wilson considers them brothers, not competition.
“I think it’s cool that they lined up, that you can see the large presence of breweries that are here because we’re scattered across the area,” he said.
Ohio had 47 craft breweries in 2012. Now it’s nearly 300.
The Big Tap In is happening Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Metroplex on Belmont Avenue.
It benefits Project MKC, a nonprofit in northeast Ohio dedicated to making the lives of children and their families brighter.
For more information about the event,