Keith and Dr. Carrie Campanelli are big fans of Birdfish Brewing.

They’re also big philanthropists.

Now, they’ve figured out an unusual way to support the Columbiana brewery while at the same time raising money for worthwhile causes. The Canfield couple — Keith runs A Pirate’s Life Pinball and supplies machines to Birdfish’s Down Low taproom, while Carrie is a pediatrician who runs Austintown Pediatrics — has purchased a 15-barrel fermenter and placed it at the production brewery.

For the next three years, the Campanellis are letting Birdfish use the fermenter in exchange for the profits gained from the tank, an estimated $10,000, going to charitable causes of their choice: Doctors without Borders, Second Harvest Food Bank, The Cure Starts Now and Project MKC.

At the end of the three years, Birdfish can keep the fermenter.

“It was just a win-win for everybody,” Keith said.

The Campanellis got the idea after noticing that Birdfish — which has two locations: Down Low at 140 E. Park Ave. and Up Top at 16 S. Main St. — couldn’t keep up with demand. They also appreciate Birdfish’s efforts to support local causes such as raising money for Second Harvest and special charitable beers such as Park IPA, which supports a disc golf course in nearby Firestone Park.

“They are always giving back to the community so I don’t mind helping them do anything down here because they are a great bunch of people,” Keith said.

In addition to Keith supplying the arcade games, the couple have other Birdfish connections — Keith, a former builder, helped with some of the construction and Carrie serves as a bartender at the brewery once a month. Carrie, an IPA fan, directed that the first beer in the tank be an IPA.

Birdfish co-founder Josh Dunn said they are developing an Australian-hopped IPA as that first brew. A special banner noting the fermenter’s significance will be placed on the tank, which is situated so people can see it from the taproom.

“It’s a purchase that we wouldn’t make with all the other equipment debt but it’s also something that we needed because we are consistently running out of beer,” Dunn said.

Winner winner

Masthead IPA took home the Best of Show honors at last weekend's Cleveland Oktoberfest Microbrew Competition. The beer, made by Masthead Brewing in Cleveland, bested fellow Cleveland brewery Noble Beast's Oktoberfest in the final tasting for the top award.

To read all the awards, check out my beer blog at www.ohio.com/beer.

Brew at the Zoo

The Akron Zoo, 505 Euclid Ave., will host its latest Brew at the Zoo from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

The adult-only beer tasting will showcase 18 breweries, wineries and meaderies: Akronym, The Brew Kettle, Feisty Brood Meadery, Goldhorn, HiHO, Hoodletown, Hoppin’ Frog, Lock 15, Maize Valley, Missing Falls, Muskellunge, Mucky Duck, Nauti Vine, Paradigm Shift, Platform, R. Shea, Shale and Two Monks.

There also will be three food trucks.

Tickets are $27 for zoo members and $33 for non-members. members. A limited number of VIP tickets are available for $50.

To buy tickets, go to: akronzoo.org.

Football beer fest

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will host the inaugural Pro Football Hall of Fame Craft Beer Fest from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday.

The event, showcasing at least one brewery from each of the NFL’s 32 markets, will be held at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. Many of the breweries aren’t distributed in Ohio, giving local beer drinkers a rare opportunity to sample different brews from around the country.

For more details and tickets, go to: www.profootballhof.com/events/hof-craft-beer-fest-19.

Tasting returning

Rhythm & Brews — a fundraiser for the Arc of Ohio — is returning to the Canton Cultural Center for the Arts, 1001 Market Ave. N, Canton, after a one-year hiatus.

The beer tasting is set for 6 to 10 p.m. Sept. 26.

The event will showcase the following breweries and distributors: BJ's, Canton, Esber Beverage, Fat Head's, Maize Valley, Mucky Duck, Muskellunge, Royal Docks and Sandy Springs. It also will feature food and music.

The event includes People's Choice and Judge's Choice awards. I am once again serving as a judge for the competition.

Rhythm & Brews had been held for several years, but took off last year.

Tickets are $40. All proceeds will benefit the Arc of Ohio's summer camp for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities at Baylor Beach Park in Stark County.

For more details or to buy tickets, go to: https://bit.ly/2L8MkBu.

Happy anniversary

Maize Valley — one of the original winery-breweries in Ohio — will celebrate  five years of beer-making on Monday

“The last five years have been pretty incredible,” award-winning brewer Jake Turner said. “The changes and growth have been really cool. The amazing friendships I’ve formed with people around the state and country in this industry are definitely the highlight.

“Hopefully in the next five years, we continue growing the brand and expanding a bit more. My focus has and always will be on making the highest quality beer that I possibly can.”

The family-run Maize Valley Winery, 6193 Edison St. NE, Marlboro Township, added beer-making in 2014 launching with a half-barrel system but soon realized that it couldn’t keep up with the demand. It upgraded to a 15-barrel brewing system in 2016.

Since then, Turner has won two silver medals at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery won in 2016 for Monk in Public in the Belgian-style strong specialty ale category and in 2018 for Lock, Stock and Brandy Barrel in the aged beer category.

ICYMI

In case you missed the story last week, Royal Docks Brewing Co. and Crave are teaming up to open Royal Docks Brewing + Crave Kitchen at Liberty Commons, 1244 Weathervane Lane, in Akron's Merriman Valley. You can find the full story at www.ohio.com/beer.

Off to Canal Winchester

Time magazine has named BrewDog’s DogHouse Hotel in Canal Winchester as one of the 100 greatest places on Earth to stay. The beer-themed hotel opened at the brewery in August 2018.

 

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Read his daily beer blog at www.ohio.com/beer. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.