SPARKS, NV - For the last seventeen years the Brew HaHa has raised funds for the Sierra Arts Foundation.
“It’s our major fundraiser of the year, we’ve been doing it for 17 years and John Ascuaga’s Nugget is an amazing host,” Sierra Arts Interim Executive Director Stacey Spain said. “We have 38 breweries here tonight, 1500 people here to support arts education in Washoe County school district schools. We want to bring the arts to people and Brew HaHa helps that happen all year long.”
It’s an event that’s grown and features beer from all over the region.
“We’ve got breweries from the Pacific Northwest, California, a lot of local breweries, basically it’s the biggest kegger of the year,” Spain said. “We started small and we’ve gotten as big as we can and it’s just a great show of support for arts in our community.”
And it was a special night for the local Silver Peak Brewery. They were celebrating their 13th anniversary as well as their 13th time at Brew HaHa.
“Sierra Arts is such a great organization for Reno, we’ve been proud to be a part of this since the day we started,” Silver Peak owner and brewmaster Trent Schmidt said. “It’s always festive and we love the fact there’s local breweries because local beer is better beer. It’s fresh beer and you get to meet and shake the hand of the guy that made it.”
The conversation flowed as freely as the beer.
“I love talking about beer, I’m a beer nerd,” Great Basin Brewery brewer Cameron Kelly said. “I’m a brewer and I love being able to promote the craft and educate people and share with all these other brewers, it’s spectacular,”
Brewer Patty Cronin of BJ’s Pizza and Brewery said events like these help promote local businesses.
“It’s getting everybody into the craft beer movement and putting money into small American companies,” Cronin said. “I believe there’s a cult growing in Reno of people sticking to little home-grown breweries and I can see in the next five years more little breweries popping up everywhere. I think across America more people are buying into that.”
For local singer and teacher Gary Aldrich, the evening was an educational one.
“It’s a chance to look at the breweries up close and there’s so much information here,” Aldrich said. “It’s particularly cool for me because I never used to be a beer drinker and I’m learning to like beer by coming to events like this. Everyone is helpful, they tell us what’s in the beer, how it’s made, everything we want to know. It’s a wonderful learning experience and I’m having a ball!”