- Mark Fisher Staff Writer
Dayton’s largest beer festival AND its winter companion event have a new venue.
The founder and co-organizers of AleFest and AleFeast say both events will now be held at the Dayton Convention Center, a move that will “weather-proof” the previously outdoor AleFest, and will accommodate growth for the winter AleFeast, according to AleFest founder Joe Waizmann and the events’ co-organizer, Jennifer Dean.
“This will eliminate the weather uncertainty, and set-up and tear-down will be much easier to manage,” Waizmann said of the indoor Dayton Convention Center venue. “The cost of putting on an outdoor event is inifinitely higher.
“Part of our desire was to keep the AleFest in downtown Dayton, and we were able to accomplish that,” Waizmann said.
Recent winter AleFeast events had been held inside the Masonic Center just north of downtown Dayton. Dean said the AleFeast simply outgrew the Masonic Center.
RELATED: AleFest changes venue after 11 years (July 2014)
Restaurants that serve food at AleFeast and AleFest will have access to commercial kitchen space inside the convention center — a significant advantage for those involved with food preparation for festival-goers, Waizmann and Dean said.
There had been some question earlier this year about whether the 19th Annual AleFest 2017 would take place, since it lost its most recent venue at the Dave Hall Plaza, site of the future Levitt Pavillion. But tickets for the 2017 event at its new home in the convention center are now on sale online and are scheduled to be available at local breweries and selected retailers starting this Tuesday, Aug. 1, Waizmann and Dean told this news outlet.
The event will be held from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 26 at the Dayton Convention Center in downtown Dayton. “VIP” tickets allow admission an hour earlier than the official start time, at 2 p.m.
General-admission tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door. VIP tickets are $60. The ticket prices are unchanged from last year.
AleFest is Ohio’s longest-running beer festival, Waizmann and Dean said. Waizmann founded the event nearly two decades ago, well before becoming the co-founder of Warped Wing Brewing Company. Dean is co-founder of Mudlick Tap House, which opened its downtown Dayton gastro-pub earlier this month, shortly after shutting down its original location in Germantown.
RELATED: AleFest Dayton to move downtown (February 2015)
The full beer list for AleFest is still under development.
“We’ll be meeting with distributors and breweries over the next two weeks to finalize the selections,” Waizmann said. “One thing I can say: All 15 Dayton-area breweries will be participating.”
Dean, who has served as co-organizer of the AleFest and its winter companion event AleFeast since 2014, had said in March 2017 that there was a possibility the event would have to skip this year after losing its Dave Hall Plaza venue, in which the festival brought the closure of a couple of city blocks.
The AleFest has bounced around in recent years after a leasing dispute ended an 11-year run at Dayton History’s Carillon Park after the 2013 event. The 2014 AleFest was held in the Wegerzyn Gardens Metropark before Dean and former co-organizer Amanda Pond moved the festival downtown to Dave Hall Plaza for the 2015 and 2016 events.