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Big Tap In at Covelli raises toast to craft beers

Published: Sun, April 22, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern



Jeff Riggs, Dave Hoopes and David Sorace didn’t pause during the Big Tap In on Saturday at the Covelli Centre.

Sorace, operations manager for Hoppin’ Frog Brewery in Akron, along with Riggs and Hoopes poured samples as they described the craft beers, including a Silk Porter “made with real cream and Belgian chocolate malt and Italian roast coffee.”

At times it was hard for them and other vendors to keep up. The third annual Big Tap In was a sellout, drawing more than 2,700 people downtown with 271 varieties of beer, 22 local food vendors, 17 local artists and entertainment ranging from bagpipers to belly dancers.

Sorace said events such as the Big Tap In allow breweries to meet fans and claim new ones.

“I’ve been in craft beer for five years, and each year it’s been 10 percent growth. It’s overwhelming,” he said, adding: “Everybody drinks beer, but they’re hooked when they taste the flavor in a small, artisan batch.”

Event organizer Sandy Reda, co-owner of Vintage Estate in Boardman, said interest in craft beer is growing in the Mahoning Valley.

“What’s so nice is that craft beer is still somewhat new to our area. If you go to Pittsburgh and Cleveland, it’s been there a while,” she said.

And the Big Tap In impressed those who traveled from those areas.

Maura Teaberry and Lauren Mikulan, both of Pittsburgh, were told by a friend about Saturday’s tasting.

“It’s great. I’ve been to things like this in Pittsburgh, and this met and exceeded my expectations,” Teaberry said.

She praised the large variety of food and beer selections.

“This year we have more brewery representation than ever. That means about 95 percent brought someone from the brewery,” Reda said.

The tasting was broken into two sessions: a VIP Session from 1 to 6 p.m. costing $70 per ticket and a general Session from 3 to 6 p.m. costing $45 per ticket.

David Keish of Canfield said his VIP ticket was well worth the extra money.

“You got time to sample without the big crowd. There was a lot of space to walk and talk with the vendors,” he said. “Overall, it’s something to get people downtown, and I love good microbrews.”

The event also had a cause.

This year, the Big Tap In benefited Making Kids Count, a Mahoning Valley-based nonprofit organization that helps local children.

Making Kids Count organizes birthday celebrations for children at Beatitude House, a women’s shelter in Youngstown and Warren, and quarterly birthday parties for patients at Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley in Boardman.

Jana Coffin, the organization’s co-president, said money raised at the Big Tap In will be used for new programs.

“We want to possibly start a summer food program because with kids out of school, they can’t get those free and reduced-cost lunches. We’re also looking at a pilot program to start a diaper bank,” Coffin said.


1Boardman120(82 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

What a great event! It was so good to see Youngstown hold an event that is so cutting edge. Had a great time, and will definitely go again! Hats off to the VE for bringing Ytown into the 21st century!

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2southsidedave(5189 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago


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3Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Wish I was in town
Hope you have more

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4sunfire95z(2 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Fun time, but venue was NOT big enough. Last years venue provided more room and the food and was much closer to the beer and easier to find. Felt like sardines navigating throughout. Wont go if its at Covelli again next year.

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5Jeph430(1 comment)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

The caption on the photo is incorrect. We were actually pouring our Silk Porter through the coffee beans, not adding any coffee to our beer. The coffee pot we were using in place of a pitcher may have been a bit deceiving.

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6Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Don't be so picky or so Ytown

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7gbeans01(11 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

@arod......they had it at that Shepard Storage place on South Ave last year and it was WAY better. Much too crowded at the Covelli, could barely move. Definitely need to move it back to Boardman and oh, please leave the belly dancers out next time. Yech!

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8jenniferrobyn(12 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

@gbeans01, from one woman to another, "gee thanks". Also, weren't you canceling your subscription? Or did the Vindy suddenly stop sucking enough for you to feel it worthy of your eyes again?

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9gbeans01(11 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Why yes, I did cancel my print subscription. Didn't know someone would care so much. But yes, the entertainment left MUCH to be desired. The music band was awful and the dancers ought to have covered up because it was downright appalling to look at. From "woman to woman"......

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10jenniferrobyn(12 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Oh. You are one of "those", the judgemental types. Have you ever met a prude that watches porn? Does breast feeding in public also irritate you? It's VS Pink & Cosmo-style or bare nothing because that's what the media tells you to like and we aren't allowed the same comfort in our bodies that the airbrushed girls get, not in your virgin eyes anyway. Smart... and original, too! C'est la vie but please; still mind your manners - this is a public forum even if you are hiding out behind a computer screen at the moment - and don't choke on that dexatrim; we don't know CPR.

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11gbeans01(11 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Wow. That is all.

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12mrdavey(10 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

To Jennifer....you are obviously over reaching your bounds. No one said anything about pornography or breastfeeding. You sound like a very angry and confused person. I know of you from the LG and am astonished at your behavior online. Obviously not the professional I thought you to be. A smart mouth is best kept quiet......bear that in mind.

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13jennrobynneal(4 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

and I believe YOU sir last lumped me in with those you termed "whores" relative to an LG event and then talked about the "good book"...? That you? See you Sunday.

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14mrdavey(10 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

hehe No, so not nearly. You have made your mark in society and your mark is not an upstanding one regardless of what I, nor anyone else, has to say. Get married (BEFORE having your next kid) get off welfare and start being an upstanding citizen....or,in the meantime, feed the egos of your chubby followers. And you shall not be seeing me on Sunday, dear. SO much ignorance......hence is the city of Youngstown.

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15jennrobynneal(4 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Good to know you feel you are too good for this city as we are looking to progress and not slip back into the dark ages. You don't anything about my marriage, my economics or my life's work and you certainly are no Christian. Have a good life.

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16mrdavey(10 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

lmao I know you are a chub, no tits, NO HUSBAND, NO EDUCATION....shush your mouth and condition your fatties. You are an unbelievable ass with NO MORALS. I'm still laughing about your marriage...pieces of soo
t you are. I feel SOOO SORRY FOR YOUR SON!

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17mrdavey(10 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

And your little biz......please don't make the rest of us laugh at it........sket.

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18jenniferrobyn(12 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Lol.. Are you sure you have the right belly dancer?

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19jenniferrobyn(12 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

You should be so lucky as to spend your time better - perhaps boosting people who need it, not feeling sorry for those who don't need your pity at all. Pity children who do not have warm, loving homes with progressive, intelligent, creative and strong but gentle individuals surrounding them, supporting every aspect of their growth. Feel sorry for kids whose parents don't have the luxury of helping people with their well-being, their self-esteem, who don't get the opportunity to entertain 2,700 people at one time, the majority of those enjoying and   appreciating it. Feel sorry for kids whose parents don't provide enough clean  diapers but spend money on crack and dope instead of nourishing food, or parents who choose not to work at all much less work helping people. Feel sorriest for those whose parents have nothing and actually do require and deserve assistance but cannot get it for whatever reason. Don't feel sorry for me and mine. I work my karma and I love my life. You probably saw me - if you really did (your comments make me wonder) - at a benefit. That's when you do something for free for the benefit of someone else. Try it. It's very Christ-like and empowering. For example, you could have spent $45 last Saturday to help "Making Kids Count" and could have not joined in on making petty complaints about the event where everyone who participated did so for the greater good. There's always next time. 

(As a side note I mention the prude watching pornography and the woman ashamed of a baby at the breast to highlight the hypocrisy this media driven society has bred where a billboard of a silicon-injected, airbrushed version of a girl with an eating disorder is more acceptable and less protested than real, natural and healthy women participating in an ancient dance form.) 

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20szazsa(1 comment)posted 4 years, 2 months ago


You seem to be lurking in the shadows ready to pounce on everything Jenniferrobyn has to say. Why are you so hateful to her? You are a very angry person that needs help. This is a forum for people to post comments and not to bad mouth people behind the security of a fake identity.

You also seem to think that you are very educated, but your spelling and grammar show otherwise. Maybe you should take your own advice, "A smart mouth is best kept quiet......bear that in mind." Please stop harassing and stalking people and improve your own inadequacies before throwing the "Good Book" at them.

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21mrdavey(10 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Miss Jennifer knows who I am and she likes to fuel fires and then play the poor victim. Trust me when I say I have ample reason to point my anger in her direction. And to you, JenniferRobyn...I find it heartening how you stick up for your "girls". Why would you not? They pay you to make them feel like their appearance is acceptable. It's great that you're doing that for them....I pity your parents and how they think of themselves for how you turned out. It is utterly disgusting to put it mildly. Nice of your friend/you to make a new account to join in on your behalf.

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22jenniferrobyn(12 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

I have no idea who you are ?!? though I think you should now just tell us all. I do know you sent me an awful, mean message on Facebook last winter and pretended to work for the Vindicator. Delusion? You know that commenting unprofessionally ("like a psycho" falls under "unprofessional" usually, right?) to actual articles is NOT "working for the Vindicator" no matter how much time you spend doing it. So go ahead Mr. Davey, tell us who you are. I put my name in my username. I put my web address on my ads. I'm the one in the middle at Covelli last weekend. Obviously, you know who I am. So let's have it; who are you.

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23Pyretta13laze(1 comment)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

There's no way he's saying who he is. We'll just have to look for him slithering somewhere close behind you like the spineless slug that he is at our next show.

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24taxme(361 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Keep the drug fest in Youngstown. Boardman doesn't need anymore drunks and druggies on the roads than we already have.

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25Boardman120(82 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Wow. This thread degenerated into something horrible. Even in celebration of something positive residents of this city can't help but show their true colors.

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26mrdavey(10 comments)posted 4 years, 2 months ago

Blame it on the belly tossers and their sick idea that it's okay to show the world that more is beautiful.....

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