Savor and sip

Culinary delights, craft beer harmonize at AleFeast

By Hayley Fudge

English cheddar. Fried Chicken. Pork belly. Pot roast crostini. Four cheese grilled cheese. Bavarian soft pretzels. Dark chocolate sea salt caramels. Barrel-aged stout. Belgian quad. Gueuze. Scotch ale. Imperial IPA. Gose. Doppelbock.

Do I have your attention yet? Thought so.

That’s just a snippet of the goodness you’ll find at AleFeast Dayton, Dayton’s largest craft beer and food pairing event, which takes place on Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Masonic Center.

While beer festivals are hardly a rarity these days in Dayton, this one brings something different. More than 30 local and national breweries join forces with several local purveyors of food to create one-of-a-kind culinary and beer pairings that showcase how the flavors and styles of beer can complement the flavor-forward creations of local chefs.

“We’re very excited to be able to bring people into our city and show them all of our great local restaurants and beers,” says Amanda Pond, AleFeast co-owner, along with co-owner Jennifer Dean.

Ticketed attendees can enjoy up to 20 4 oz. pours of beer in their tasting glass, and can expect to sample up to 15 different culinary creations. While the name may imply a bounty of food, keep in mind this isn’t Golden Corral, and food is not unlimited.

“The idea is to experience a little bit of everything,” says Dean.

The event is broken up into large tables, which each feature a food offering, several beer options, as well as a red and white wine offering at each station. Download the “AleFest” menu to guide you through the event and let you bookmark the beers you’ve had, find your way from station to station and serve as a communication vehicle from organizers before and during the event.

While AleFeast is in its seventh year, this year’s event brings a lot of changes from events past. Some by necessity through lessons learned, and some because the event is growing in participation and popularity and organizers are stepping up their game.

“Last year was our first year fully planning the event,” says Pond. “Now that we know what to expect, we limited the tickets.”

The food and drink supply is planned to jive with the number of tickets sold, which will be limited to 600. As it looks like the event will sell out, there will be no tickets sold at the door this year unlike in years past.

“We want the experience to be different every year,” says Pond. “We have several new food purveyors, some new breweries like Crooked Handle and some other exciting additions.”

Those additions include the presence of the Dayton Cocktail Co. and Twisted River Coffee Roaster, for starters.

Dayton Cocktail Co. is a group of highly trained bartenders who provide craft cocktail catering and custom drink prep at for local events and parties. They’ll be mixing up a bit of everything: cordials, bourbons and even beer cocktails.

And for those that need a mid-event pick-me-up or a jolt of caffeine to end the night, Twisted River will have its locally roasted beans on display serving up coffee drinks for the duration of the event.

This year also marks the first time that a brewery will also double as a food purveyor. Fifth Street Brewpub will have some kitchen delights on display along with its beers.
Organizers also want attendees to note the event’s new entrance this year. Instead of the single door back entrance, they will utilize the Masonic Center’s side entrance that has multiple sets of double doors that people can enter and access parts of the venue until the event starts at 4 p.m.

Musical entertainment will be provided by Nick Mitchell.
A portion of the proceeds from this year’s AleFeast will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Greater Dayton, a non-profit, volunteer-driven Christian ecumenical housing ministry dedicated to providing safe, affordable housing to families in need. This event also benefits the Dayton Area Rugby Club, a member of USA Rugby dedicated to the furthering of this great sport across the globe.

Promoting responsible drinking is also important to organizers. They have partnered with UBER to offer a first-time discount code for a $20 credit to new riders using the code ALEFEAST16. In addition, the downtown Dayton Crowne Plaza hotel will offer a discounted room rate for AleFeast attendees booking under the ALE rate.

AleFeast takes place 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Masonic Center, 525 W. Riverview Ave. in Dayon. Tickets are on sale for $50 in advance until sold out. Attendees must be 21 or older. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit Tickets can also be purchased at local retailers Arrow Wine Centerville, Arrow Wine Kettering, Belmont Party Supply, Fifth Street Brewpub, Mudlick Taphouse and Warped Wing Brewery.

Hayley Fudge is one of Dayton City Paper’s Resident Beer Geeks. An enthusiast of craft beer and the culture that surrounds it, Hayley aspires to share her love of beer with others by whipping up beer-infused cupcakes on the regular. Reach Hayley Fudge at

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Hayley Fudge is one of Dayton City Paper’s Resident Beer Geeks. An enthusiast of craft beer and the culture that surrounds it, Hayley aspires to share her love of beer with others by whipping up beer-infused cupcakes on the regular. Reach Hayley Fudge at

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