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Lebanon Brewhaha: A Spring Brewfest Supporting the Arts

Within the gentle rolling hills of Southwestern Ohio, Lebanon is a scenic vacation destination with a multitude of great activities to enjoy. The history of the city dates back to the early 1800’s, when Ichabod Corwin became the first Anglo American settler to permanently live in the area. The settlement became known as Lebanon in 180s, and by 1840 the city had roughly 1,327 residents. Due to the city's proximity to the Warren County Canal and the Little Miami Railroad, people began to flock to the area. By 1846, Lebanon had all the major elements of infrastructure and the city hasn't slowed since. The remaining half of the 19th century and most of 20th century continued to treat the town well, as economic growth and population continued to increase. The city currently has population of over 20,000 people and is well known as a great tourist destination filled with great activities, attractions and exceptional lodging.


Regardless of your interests and travel needs, Lebanon won't disappoint with it’s selection. If you're looking for shopping, downtown Lebanon is for you. You’ll encounter a wide selection of unique shops that sell almost any item you can imagine. The lively culture and history of the city is on display downtown at art galleries, live entertainment venues and museums. Restaurants here are great, from simple-but-delicious bar food to elegant multi-course meals, your appetite will appreciate the trip to Ohio. The surrounding area also holds a wide array of fun outdoor things to do. The city is home to a beautiful network of parks that present ample opportunities for hiking, biking, photography, nature watching and more. Lebanon residents are friendly and social, and they love to gather and celebrate. Events and festivals, like the Lebanon Brewhaha, present the perfect opportunity to experience the community.


Relatively new to the local event circuit, the Lebanon Brewhaha has been a local hit since its inception. Entering only its second year, it has doubled in scope and hopes to welcome over a 1,000 people this year. This event is 21+ due to the sale of alcohol, and they will have 28 different breweries, all of which are bringing two to four beers for sampling. You’ll encounter a wide selection of food for sale from some great local restaurants and vendors. Plus, they will have some fun games, activities and even a marketplace where you can buy unique handmade items. got the opportunity to speak to Carol Donovan, Event Representative for Lebanon Brewhaha to speak about this fun event.


RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event?

CD: While we are only entering our second year, the event has already doubled in size since last year, when we had 660 participants. This year we are expecting many more. Demographically we see many different groups in attendance. Here is an age and gender breakdown of the people we do see at our event:

  • 55.8% 36-50 years of age

  • 20.9% 26-35 years of age

  • 20.9% 50+

  • 2.3% 21-25 years of age

  • 53.5% Female  

  • 46.5% Male


RAL: What makes the Lebanon Brewhaha unique?

CD: There are currently no other events like this in the Warren County area. This event was developed by Lebanon Symphony Orchestra (LSO) to support the LSO. We (the LSO) are a nonprofit arts organization consisting of the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra, Chorus, and Youth Orchestra. All proceeds and sponsorships benefit the three organization’s general operating funds and programming. The funds are also used to develop a series of “string workshops” during the summer, for the young musicians looking to advance their skills.


RAL: Take me through a typical day at the event.

CD:  This year we will have 28 craft breweries participating in the event. Each of the breweries will bring two to four beers for tastings. We will also have activities like: Photo Bus Cincy, giant JENGA tournament and more. Our marketplace will have unique products such as Whiskermen for the Craft Beer Lover’s whiskers, spreadable bacon, raffle baskets, beer soap (made locally and specifically for this event), and plenty of other merchandise.


For live music we have a great collection of music acts including: American Idol’s Alexis Gomez, Jay Jesse Johnson, The Richard Lynch Band, HARBOUR and Vanguard.


This year's selection of food vendors is also great: Schmidt’s Sausage Haus (out of Columbus’ German Village), Double D’s BBQ, Bella Sorella Pizzas, Jimmie’s StrEATery, Royce Cafe and Coffeehouse and Family Treats Grills on Wheels.


RAL: What does the event mean to the community?

CD: It is our hope that this event highlights the area, the arts, and community. As a newly formed event, it is difficult to say, but as the event grows and gains more exposure, we are certain it will assist in economic development for local merchants.


RAL: Does the event support any special causes in the community?

CD: The Lebanon BrewHAHa is a benefit fundraiser for the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra, a nonprofit arts organization consisting of the Lebanon Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Youth Orchestra.  All proceeds and sponsorships benefit the three organization’s general operating funds, programming and help to develop a series of summer string workshops for the young musicians. We are also developing four high school scholarships for graduating seniors who plan to pursue a career in arts, education and/or performance degrees.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

CD: This is the ideal event to break out of the clutches of another cold Southwest Ohio winter, enjoy some great brews, and meet friendly new faces. If you're looking for a change of pace and a new taste, our event is perfect for you! From the beer aficionado, to the beer novice, everyone (21+) is welcomed to join us for a great time! There will be beer, food, music, and games! This is a epic celebration of all things beer!

For more information about the Lebanon Brewhaha, please visit their website.