Brian Crumbacher holding a Crumbock

Dickey Electric, Birdfish brew up creative fundraiser for United Way

In a joint effort between friends that are more of a family, a fundraiser at a Columbiana brewery will benefit the local United Way.

A special beer that is poured Friday, July 16, Birdfish Brewing Co. will donate $1 and “Joe” Dickey Electric Inc. will match it. That math equates to $2 per beer that will be donated to the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, Josh Dunn, co-owner of Birdfish, said.

Taking it a step further, $2 per four-pack sold will be donated through the matching as well, Dunn said.

Together, the team has a goal of raising between $1,500 to $2,000.

Brian Crumbacher holding a Crumbock

“Joe” Dickey Electric project manager Brian Crumbacher inspired a Birdfish Brewing Co. beer named in his honor … Crumbock.

Beer inspired by a Dickey Electric electrician

Friday is especially important, as Birdfish will unveil the third-ever batch of “Crumbock,” in honor of Dunn’s mentor-turned-friend-turned-family member Brian Crumbacher, a project manager at Dickey Electric.

“Brian is a very generous person,” Dunn said. Crumbacher coached Dunn and his business partners about 20 years ago when they played football at South Range Middle School.

Through the years, the players kept in touch with Crumbacher. “We remained friends” as they grew up, Crumbacher said, which led to a natural progression of the group becoming more like family. The same has happened over his two-decades-long relationship with his employer, Dickey Electric, Crumbacher said.

“Their family is my family. To get those two groups together is nice,” Crumbacher said.

After Dunn and his business partners started working on the brewery in 2014, then opened it in 2015, they turned to Brian for advice. He guided them, Dunn said.

As business grew and Birdfish moved to its bigger, current location, Brian and the crew remained close.

“He’s always been there to help out,” Dunn said. In his free time, Dunn will stop in and have a couple beers, and Dickey Electric will perform electrical work when needed.

“Crumbock” is a play on the German-style bock, a strong lager. While Crumbock is dark, there is a hint of sweetness from the graham crackers brewed into the beverage, Dunn said.

Crumbock and graham crackers

The Crumbock is a German-style bock with a hint of sweetness from graham crackers brewed into it.

United Way fundraiser

It was through Dickey Electric that Crumbacher and the Birdfish crew teamed with the United Way.

“Dickey Electric was already involved with United Way,” Crumbacher said. Then, he was the project manager for electrical work when the nonprofit had a complete remodel of their Youngstown building. “I got to know them,” he said. In the meantime, Birdfish was also working with United Way, so Crumbacher decided to combine both of his extended families as he learned about opportunities to give back to the Mahoning Valley.

On the third Saturday of each month, United Way holds Satur-Day of Caring. Groceries are purchased, and Crumbacher heads to the store with a Dickey Electric flatbed truck to pick up the food. He then takes the cargo to Southwoods Surgical hospital in Boardman where everything is sorted out then taken to people in need on the 40-some routes.

Birdfish helps separate and pass out the food in the Dickey Electric truck, Crumbacher said.

For him, being a role model and leader are skills that allow Crumbacher “to give back” to the community, he said.

To try Crumbock, Birdfish Brewing Company is open 12 p.m. until 10 p.m., and is located at 140 E. Park Ave. in Columbiana.