Beer fest planned at Covelli Centre

By David Skolnick


More than 75 breweries will participate in the third annual Big Tap In Real Craft Beer Festival set for April 21 at the Covelli Centre, the event’s organizer said.

The Shepherd Event Center, a self-storage business on South Avenue in Boardman, was the location of the first two beer festivals. A date conflict led to a deal with the Covelli Centre, said Sandy Reda, the event’s organizer.

“The Covelli Centre is the premier event center in the Mahoning Valley, and its atmosphere will enhance the already exciting and energized” festival, she said.

The center was “looking at a similar type of event, and they happened to be looking for a new place to hold” the festival, said Ken Bigley, the facility’s assistant director. “It was the right place at the right time. We’re always looking for outside-the-box events. We’re known for sports and entertainment events, but we like to also have other events here.”

About 1,200 people attended the first festival, Reda said. That grew to 2,000 at this year’s event with the expectation that about 3,000 people will be at the 2012 festival, she said.

“We’ve heard a lot of good things about this event,” Bigley said. “We’re really excited about it.”

Tickets go on sale at 6 p.m. Dec. 12 and are available through the organization’s website — — or at Vintage Estate Wine and Beer, 7317 South Ave., Boardman. Tickets will not be available at the Covelli box office or through Ticketmaster.

Tickets are $45 each for general admission or $70 for a VIP pass.

Admission includes beer tasting from all the breweries at the event, which also includes entertainment and food. A VIP pass includes tasting additional specialty beers.

Proceeds will go to Making Kids Count Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides programs and services to children and their families in need of assistance.

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