Drink to fund the arts at Lebanon’s BrewHAHa

By Dana Walczak

Photo: Lebanon’s BrewHAHa at the Warren County Fairgrounds raises money for the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra and Choir youth programs


Ever since Mesopotamians invented beer, we’ve paired the libation with music.

The Lebanon BrewHAHa celebrates the two, selling craft beer to create more music.

“This is how they try to grow and educate younger people,” event chair Jeffery Aylor says, “because what happens is that if the arts don’t try to educate younger people and get them involved, they die.”

In its third year, the event again raises money for the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra and Choir’s youth programs. The event has continued to grow in size, with last year’s attendance reaching nearly one thousand attendees.

Passion project and brainchild of the orchestra’s Managing Director Carol Donovan, the benefit fundraiser for the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, and Youth Orchestra, developed by LSO board members and community leaders to assist in developing concert programing, scholarships to graduating high school seniors, educational outreach programing, and produce a summer strings workshop for young musicians.

The event specializes in presenting patrons with a variety of craft beers and tasty food. But unlike many fundraising events, everything offered will be local to Ohio.

Attendees can expect to see taps from some of the larger regional breweries like Warped Wing, Rhinegeist, and MadTree, but they will also be treated to smaller breweries from Cleveland, Athens, and Columbus, among others.

“What is really great about this one is that we are really highlighting the smaller [breweries],” Aylor says. “Every year the mix of the beers is different because we keep having new breweries popping up. So it is a really great opportunity for the small breweries in the area—and even some of the bigger ones to get their name out there, and get their beer out there, and educate people about them.”

According to Laura Gall, president and owner of Simply Events, another great aspect of the event will be the food. Food trucks from all over the area will surround the outdoor Biergarten, including some from a little farther away, like Schmidt’s Sausage Haus out of Columbus. There will also be a vintage bus that has been converted into a photo booth for those who want to get their Instagram game on.

The event will take place in Building C at the fairgrounds and will provide plenty of space to fit everyone who wants to head out and support the nonprofit organization.

In addition to food and beer, this year’s event will include more vendors, selling everything from beer-related products to woodwork and artisan soaps, and a booth showcasing an app that provides its users with all of the information they could possibly want about all of the breweries. For those who might not like hops, wine will also be available.

Regional bands and musicians will provide entertainment, with the first band scheduled to go on when the gates open at 4 p.m. for the VIP happy hour, which, according to Aylor, is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t want extra tastings and swag, regular admittance includes 20 tastings. But once your tickets are gone, so is your beer.

And while the beer and food are the stars of the day, it is important to remember that this is also a fundraiser. As funding for arts programs are drying up and public support is low, events like the BrewHAHa help to keep these programs alive and potential and current artists interested—which, let’s be real, can be difficult these days.

“We are trying to engage your non-normal symphony audience,” Aylor says. “There is a real organization that is going to benefit by them coming [to the event] and having a great time, there aren’t many of these festivals planned by the people they are raising money for.”


The BrewHAHa takes place Saturday, April 29 from 4-9 p.m. at the Warren County Fairgrounds, 665 N. Broadway St. in Lebanon. General admission is $40 and VIP admission is $55 for patrons 21 and up. Both include 20 tasting tickets and a souvenir glass. Designated driver admission is $10. VIP admission also includes one-hour early entry, free 2-ounce specialty beer pours from 4–5 p.m., and a T-shirt. No children or pets are permitted; however, lederhosen are encouraged. For tickets or more information, please visit LebanonBrewHAHa.com.


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Reach DCP freelance writer Dana Walczak at DanaWalczak@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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