In 1999, Joe Waizmann took notice that other cities around the country were putting on festivals celebrating craft beer and thought it was time for Dayton to join the party.
The first AleFest took place on a rainy Sunday in June with 175 attending.
This year the event turns 21. In honor of its 21st birthday — now that it’s old enough to drink — here are 21 things you should know about AleFest Dayton.
1) It’s Ohio’s longest running beer festival.
2) More than 80 breweries will be present.
3) Approximately 1,000 attendees enjoyed AleFest in 2018. Waizmann is optimistic that given the lineup this year even more people will be in attendance.
4) Given attendance figure coupled with number of possible samples per person, Waizmann estimates that over 15,000 samples were served up last year.
5) The majority of Dayton-area breweries are participating this year.
6) Beers will be grouped by broad style categories this year — i.e. hoppy, barrel-aged, Belgian, malty, sour, lager, cask, wine and ciders.
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7) More than 250 craft beers including package, draught, and cask will be available to sample.
8) Over 200 volunteers through charity organizations will be helping serve up samples.
9) Charity and nonprofit beneficiaries include: Alzheimer’s Association Miami Valley, Bike Miami Valley, Dayton Area Rugby Club, Dayton Art Institute, Dayton Ballet, Five Rivers Youth Rugby Foundation, UpDayton and WYSO 91.3FM.
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10) AleFest Dayton will also contribute proceeds to The Dayton Tornado Relief Initiative as well as The Dayton Oregon District Tragedy Fund.
11) Live music will be provided by The Fries Band.
12) Local radio personality Kim Faris will emcee the event.
13) Author Tim Gaffney will be on hand to sign his book “Dayton Beer: A History of Brewing in the Miami Valley.”
14) Canal Street Arcade & Deli will be serving up sandwiches, chips and snacks.
15) Mudlick Tap House will be serving soft pretzels with mustard and beer cheese, chicken jambalaya, and an andouille sausage sandwich with Havarti and Boat Show IPA.
16) Esther Price Fine Chocolates will have assorted gourmet chocolates for those with a sweet tooth.
17) Thyme After Thyme Gourmet will have beer infused cupcakes, chocolates, truffles, and beer bread.
18) There will be a RADS Bloody Mary Bar Buckeye Vodka bar serving up a loaded Bloody with chicken from Centerville Pizza.
19) For those who are gluten-free, the folks at Rolling Mill are featuring their Anti Federalist Pale Ale and Ingot Brown Ale on draught. This is in addition to wines and ciders that will be available.
20) The party starts at 4 p.m. Saturday with VIP entry at 3 p.m.
21) Visit www.AleFest.com for more information.