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By GUY D’ASTOLFO
Beer lovers can sample everything from Coors Light to Stone’s Espresso Imperial Russian Stout at Youngstown BeerFest on Saturday at Covelli Centre.
More than 200 beers from 80 brewers will be available for sampling.
But there will be much more than just beer and food, said Dominic Gatta III, who is staging the event. “No matter what your level [of beer aficionado], you will find something you like,” said Gatta. “It’s a cool experience.”
While the tasting areas will be set up on the floor of the arena, two major brewers will set up large displays in the concourses.
Coors Light, a sponsor of Youngstown State and Ohio State athletics, will have a tailgate-party-themed zone set up in the north concourse.
Peroni, an Italian brewer, will take over the south concourse with a blue-carpet runway and a more stylish approach.
“The Peroni girls will be there in uniform, and a bar will be set up for tasting,” said Gatta. “Peroni is so involved in fashion and culture, so they set up their area to look like a photo shoot.”
The Gucci Fiat, which is covered in the fashion house’s logo, will be on display in the Peroni area.
Displays on the main floor will include an “apple orchard” for ciders.
Brewmasters from various microbreweries will give short presentations.
Gatta expects that festival-goers will roam the floor and sample 2-ounce servings of the many fine and rare brews available, although they could certainly stay put in one area if they feel most comfortable there.
All attendees will get a mug with a BeerFest logo to keep and use to sample beers at the event. Beer will not be available for take-out purchases, but people can take notes to remember the brews they like best, or else use their smartphone to scan the QR codes at each display.
There will not be live entertainment because it would run counter to the total beer immersion of the event, but Golden String Radio will be on site to webcast live. A portion of the proceeds from BeerFest will support the Youngstown agency, which serves disabled adults.