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Beer, fun and generosity flow at 13th annual Brew Haha
by Cortney Maddock
Jan 25, 2008 | 1243 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Brew Haha: ([broo - hahhah] noun) A charity event held in support of Sierra Arts cleverly disguised as a night of beer tasting, music and dancing.

"It's our biggest fundraiser," said Jill Berryman, executive director of Sierra Arts. "But for many people it's about drinking beer and dancing."

Berryman, who has been with the Sierra Arts for 15 years and director for eight, said the Brew Haha started 13 years ago when Michon Ascuaga was on the board of Sierra Arts.

The Lucky No. 13 Brew Haha, Berryman estimates, will have somewhere between 30 to 40 beers to taste including beers from local breweries Great Basin, Silver Peak and more.

"It is a beer-tasting event but there are a few bars if someone wants a glass of wine or a cocktail," said Kristina Owens, special events manager for John Ascuaga’s Nugget, which will host the event.

Owens added that some brewers, such as Mike’s Hard Lemonade, will have its latest malt liquors available to taste.

"There's a little bit for everyone," Berryman said. "There is beer and the latest cocktails and food."

Something for everyone also includes a raffle and blues artist Shane Dwight. Berryman said Dwight will be playing two 90-minute sets, which will be interrupted by a raffle for an array of interesting prizes that include "an extra for the day." Berryman explained that the prize will allow the winner to be an extra in the movie "Love Ranch" being filmed in northern Nevada.

"We specialize in off-beat prizes for the Brew Haha," Berryman said.

While Berryman admitted that not everyone in attendance at tonight's Brew Haha will know that it is a charity event, she said she is OK with that.

Owens said the Nugget is expecting more than 2,000 people to attend the event and Keith Rugg, communications manager for Sierra Arts, said that as of Thursday more than 1,200 tickets had been sold.

Berryman said the Brew Haha brings a large crowd and diverse age groups from the just-legal-to-drink to the baby boomer crowd.

"It's a huge event," Rugg said. "Why this is so important (for Sierra Arts) is it is unrestricted fun to raise money for office use. The money goes where it is needed."

Rugg explained that Sierra Arts is a non-profit organization that strives to provide art education by pairing up community artists with students, promoting community art and artists and providing support for artists, such as subsidized housing at the Riverside Artist Lofts.

"The Brew Haha is a way for us to keep in touch with people," Rugg said. "Our biggest support comes from our members but (the Brew Haha) gives us a chance to gain more members."

In addition to funds from members, Sierra Arts receives additional funding from grant money that is allocated to specific programs and projects. The Brew Haha raises money specifically for use to continue the day-to-day operation of Sierra Arts.

"Art is very important in defining us as human beings," Berryman said about the importance of keeping art alive in the community. "The arts define who we are as people and allow us to be unique."

The Brew Haha will be held tonight in the Rose Ballroom from 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Tickets are $60 at the door. For more information on Sierra Arts, future events and membership, visit www.sierra-arts.org.

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