There is no doubt that “The Big Tap In” has a positive impact on our Valley. The economic and social influences go well beyond The Shepherd Center here where this year’s event took place.
Co- organizer Phill Reda explained that the event is a labor of love and commitment.
“It all started out of the love of draft beer. Sandy [his wife] and I attended a beer festival and she said, ‘We should do this.’. I said, ‘OK, sounds like fun!’ “
The Big Tap In has grown from those humble beginnings into one of the most anticipated and respected beer events in the Midwest region. In fact, people traveled from around the country to attend this year’s event, bringing more than 3,000 beer lovers to Boardman. That number reflects only paid attendance, and doesn’t account for the numerous beer industry personnel who traveled to our valley for the party.
Local resident Kevin Maloney has attended all four “Big Tap In” events.
“There is a plethora of craft beers here all under one roof. Normally you would have to travel out of our area to enjoy an event like this. It is the best beer event in Youngstown every year, hands down.”
Jay Taylor, sales and marketing manager for The Elevator Brewing Company in Columbus, agrees. “This is a tremendous platform for craft breweries to gain exposure for our brands. This is a must attend event in our industry.”
The economic impact is palatable the moment you turn on to South Avenue from U.S. Route 224. All of the hotels at the Route 224-Interstate 680 corridor were booked several weeks ahead of the event. Restaurants up and down 224 have felt the positive impact since Friday.
For more on the event, read Sunday's Vindicator or Vindy.com.