PIQUA — The fifth annual Down a River Down a Beer event filled Lock 9 Park on Saturday evening with beer drinkers looking to try something new and breweries from across Ohio looking to fill their glasses.
“It’s grown every year,” said Dr. Jim Burkhardt of Piqua, who co-chairs the event with his wife, Cheryl.
This year was no different with over 300 advance tickets sold for the annual festival.
Burkhardt — whom some call “Dr. Beer” — said that prior to beginning DARDAB, he and Cheryl had gone to beer fests in other areas and wanted to bring a similar event to Piqua. What began out of a desire to have fun on the riverfront has since morphed into what Burkhardt called “the best beer event in the northern Miami Valley.”
“Mainstreet Piqua is proud to bring this event to the Piqua community,” Mainstreet Piqua Executive Director Lorna Swisher said. “They’ve done really well.”
DARDAB maintained its tradition of offering attendees 99 craft beers to choose from, spread out across nearly 30 beer stations. Food, water, and pretzel necklaces were also offered throughout the event.
“We have more tap beers this year, more breweries,” Burkhardt said, noting that in addition to numerous local breweries, some breweries came from Cincinnati, Columbus, and Nelsonville.
Breweries included Toxic Brew Co., the Hairless Hare Brewery, Yellow Springs Brewery, Mad Tree Brewing, Tailspin Brewing Co., Crooked Handle Brewing Co., Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co., Moeller Brew Barn, Multiple Brewing Co, and Warped Wing Brewing CO.
DARDAB offered a variety of beers, from light German wheat beers to big IPAs, Burkhardt said. They also ranged from summer fruit beers to 10 percent imperial stouts.
“Almost every beer style is going to be represented here,” Burkhardt said. “From light to dark in color and from light to heavy in taste.”
All of the proceeds from the event go toward a river stewardship program. Protecting Our Water-ways (POWW) will receive some funding from this event as well.
Burkhardt explained that they are still currently working with Edison State Community College and Upper Valley Career Center to establish that river stewardship program, but their goal is to get students on the Great Miami River. Burkhardt expressed his support for the city’s ongoing Riverfront Redevelopment Strategy as a way to help drive more people to utilizing the riverfront.
“I’m really excited about the plans for the city,” Burkhardt said.
DARDAB saw fewer water events this year, holding a canoe ride for the sponsors. They brought back their flaming River Fire Rings created by the French Oil Mill Machinery Company, moving the River Fire Rings closer to the shore and lighting them up at dusk.
Burkhardt said that they have over 90 people volunteer to help run the event and receive a lot of support from the community.
“The city has been very gracious in helping support the event,” he said. “Everybody’s just been wonderful.”
DARDAB is organized by Mainstreet Piqua and POWW with support from Unity National Bank and McColloch Baker Insurance, Edison State Community College, Miami Valley Steel Service, Palmer Bolt, P&R Specialty, Koverman Staley Dickerson Insurance, the city Of Piqua, and other local sponsors, including Crayex Corporation, Polysource, Atlantis Sportswear, Design52 Creative Services, Hemm’s Glass, PSC Crane and Rigging, Mark Reedy and Spencer Peltier Thrivent Financial, and French Oil Mill Machinery Company.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org