Winneshiek County's three breweries -- Toppling Goliath, PIVO & Pulpit Rock -- are launching a collaborative fundraising campaign called "Brewers for Bikes" on Friday. The event is the first of many the breweries will host to raise money for the new Dry Run Bike Trail that will connect Decorah's Trout Run Trail to the Prairie Farmer Trail between Calmar and Cresco.
Each brewery has agreed to donate two kegs of a specific beer for the event. The breweries will each sell their designated beer in their brewery taproom, and donate all of the earnings to the construction of the new bike trail.
Campaign spokesperson and PIVO Brewery co-owner Craig Neuzil says, "Area cyclists frequent all 3 breweries in Winneshiek County and they often talk about how great it would be to exclusively ride designated trails between the breweries. The breweries have been wanting to do some collaborative events to support the local community, and the new bike trail seemed like a great project."
When asked how significant bike enthusiasts are to business, Neuzil references a survey conducted by the State of Iowa a few years ago. The survey showed a direct correlation between avid bicyclists and craft beer drinkers. "Bike enthusiasts are definitely some of the core customers of Winneshiek County breweries," says Neuzil. "By connecting the Trout Run Trail and the Prairie Farmer Trail, Winneshiek County will become a premier biking destination. Beyond the financial benefits that come with tourist dollars, the local community will have access to one of the most scenic paved trails in the state."
Collectively, the 3 breweries hope to raise over $5,000 with their first fundraising event. Although future fundraising events aren't officially scheduled yet, organizers have plenty of ideas, including a Bicycle Poker Run across Winneshiek County, a Beer, Art & Music Festival, a community auction, and more specialty beer sales.
Through previous area fund raising efforts for the Dry Run Bike Trail, the Winneshiek County Conservation Board plans to start the initial phase of trail construction which will be the installation of a concrete box culvert under U.S. Route 52, immediately south of where the highway intersects with Iowa Highway 9. Once the box culvert is complete, the next phase will be the construction of bridges over the numerous streams and ravines that the new bike trail will cross.
Toppling Goliath, PIVO & Pulpit Rock breweries will put their designated "Brewers for Bikes" kegs on tap starting on Friday. Anyone wanting to make a cash donation to the construction of this new bike trail can send their check to the Dry Run Trail Fund, 2546 Lake Meyer Road, Fort Atkinson, Iowa 52144. All donations to this fund will only be used for the construction expenses of new bike trails in Winneshiek County.