SOn Saturday afternoon, the lobby and patio of the RiverPark Center was filled with groups of people, twos and threes. A band played on the patio and there was food from a busy food truck parked near the main entrance.
But the main attraction was the beer.
Breweries and beer distributors were making their best beers available to people at RiverPark’s “Hops on the Ohio.” Saturday was the first time the event had been held since 2019.
Outside the Brew Bridge tent, the cask of David Haynes’ Peach Cobbler Sour was quickly running out, but people kept stopping in for a taste. When the barrel gets low, a lot of what comes out is foam — which is still beer, Haynes reminded People.
“I think we’re the most popular brewery right now,” Haynes said.
The event was just one of many the Brew Bridge team was working on on Saturday: earlier they had taken part in the downtown Putt Putt Pub Crawl and held a couple of wedding receptions later that night.
Hops on the Ohio is good for business because people who try the beer will go for it, Haynes said.
“We get a lot of people from outside who don’t know who we are” at the event, Haynes said. Later, “they’ll see us on tap in Louisville, and can take us there too.”
Rich Jorn, executive director of the RiverPark Center, said 52 beers were on tap for the event. There were also vendors selling wine and bourbon from the Green River Distillery.
By 4 p.m., nearly 500 tickets had been distributed for the event, Jorn said.
Hops on the Ohio helps attract new audiences to the center, which will hopefully bring them back for future events, Jorn said.
“You’re looking at the demographics here: it’s mostly young professionals that you don’t see as much on Broadway shows or other shows that we do,” Jorn said.
“It’s a real good crowd,” he said. “We are really delighted.”
Beer House Distributing distributor Ross Winterberg brought several beers from Erlanger, near Cincinnati. The trip was worth it, he said.
“The people are great,” Winterberg said. “It gives a new meaning to southern hospitality.”
While most of the crowd was there to relax and try a few beers, Kim Brown was there on business. Brown, who is one of the owners of the Pub on Second downtown, said the event was a chance to scout for new beers to get his company’s drink menu. Brown said she was particularly excited about a beer that had a remarkable taste of Skittles candy.
“It’s something that women are really going to like,” Brown said. The event would give Brown a chance to speak with beer distributors and bring some of their beers into the business.
“It’s a chance for me to meet, ride and negotiate,” she said.