For over half of the 20th century Youngstown, Ohio was the place to be. The "Steel Valley" was one of the strongest cities in the "Industrial Heartland of North America". The removal of the steel industry in the 1960's and 1970's brought this city to its knees and its hasn't been able to stand up ever since. Since 1990 the city has lost nearly 30% of its population.
Over the years it has been in the national news but not for the right reasons. At different points over the past few decades it has been know to have the highest murder rate per capita in the US was well as the highest arson rate per capita. It was one of the last mafia strongholds in the US. One of the most highly regarded college football players of our era was a Youngstown boy. Maurice Clarett set the freshman rushing record at Ohio State and was the key piece to Ohio State winning a national championship in 2002. Debacle after debacle led to a high speed police chase in 2006 which resulted in Clarett being maced because the taser couldn't penetrate his Kevlar body armor. Oh, and police found two samurai swords, an AK-47 and 2 handguns in his car. Ummmm, what the hell were you gonna do Maurice?!?! TWO samurai swords?!?! Kevlar?!?! AK-47?!?!
And who can forget Kelly "The Ghost" Pavlick, the lanky but powerful middle weight content who KO'd the seemingly unbeatable Jermaine Taylor to gain the middle weight title in what was dubbed as the "Fight of the Year" in 2007. However, years of substance abuse and legal troubles caused this once prominent fighter to fall back into the shadow. Yep, Youngstown boy.
As much struggle as Youngstown has had over the years I believe there is something that can help this city regain some of its prominence: craft beer. Craft beer distills down into 2 core elements: artistry and hard ass work. Youngstown Ohio has both.
In the episode I sit down with my pal Brian Ford (my co-host in the now-defunct-but-hopefully-soon-reanimated Mixtape Podcast) to chat with Ira and Marcy Gerheart, founders of Noble Creature Cask House. Noble Creature was built from the bones of an old church right in the heart of Youngstown. These two LOVE Youngstown and are happy to do their part to bring some good vibes to this city that has dealt with enough heartbreak for a lifetime. If their creativity, determination, and blue-collar attitude is a sign of what craft beer will bring to Youngstown then I think we will see this great city rise to prominence once again.
Enjoy the show!
Thanks to Chris Dodson for his awesome production/editing work to help put the audio side of the episodes together
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