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Offering more than 100 different brews for sampling, including seasonal and microbrew varieties, the Reno Brew HaHa Beer Festival returns to the Nugget Casino Resort on Jan. 29 and benefits the Sierra Arts Foundation.

"This is for anyone who wants to have a great time at a beer festival and wants to support the arts," said Lauren Garber, director of public relations and social media for the Nugget.

The all-you-can-responsibly drink samples are included as part of the Brew HaHa ticket price with the samples coming from vendors such as American River Brewing Company, Two Bald Guys Beverage Company, Hangar24 Craft Brewery, High Sierra Brewing Company and more. Purchase of a ticket also includes coverage to a live performance by 2012 'The Voice'  contestant Whitney Myer and an opportunity to visit the Artist Village, featuring more than 50 artists.

"This is a very popular event," Garber said. "We expect about 1,500 people to attend. People are already getting excited about the upcoming event, and many look forward to this year after year."

While the event starts at 7 p.m. Jan. 29, those who purchase VIP tickets gain entry into the festival an hour earlier – meaning they can start sampling sooner --  but also enjoy special seating to hear Myer, and win one of 10 prizes in a special VIP raffle. They also will be able to enjoy a 21st birthday cake to celebrate the event, which is celebrating its 21st year, meaning it has finally reached legal age, Garber quipped.

It also means that the support that has been given to the Sierra Arts Foundation for the past 20 years will continue on in 2016. More than $34,00 went to the foundation in 2015.

"All of the proceeds go to the Sierra Arts Foundation," Garber said. "We collect all of the money and pay for the hard costs, such as staffing, marketing, and whatever other costs are associated with the event. Everything else goes to Sierra Arts."

The Nugget works hand-in-hand with the Sierra Arts Foundation, a nonprofit that provides area programming including Arts in Education, to produce the event while area and regional vendors donate beer for the event..

Raising funds, awareness

"Not only is Brew HaHa an important event to raise much-needed financial support, it is also Sierra Arts Foundation's greatest opportunity to educate the public about who we are and the great things we do for our community," said Annie Zucker, executive director of the Sierra Arts Foundation. "This year, with the help of the Nugget, we will be using the event as an awareness campaign and membership drive for Sierra Arts Foundation. We hope that people will learn about all of the great programs that they can participate in year-round in our gallery."

Headlining this year's Brew HaHa's concert is Myer, a Reno native. Her rendition of Alicia Keys' "No One" in 2012 wowed the judges on "The Voice" and earned invitations from all four to join their competition teams. Although Myer didn't win the competition, she did later release a solo EP called "The Articles of Luminous Nature."

"She's very popular locally, and regionally as well," said Garber. "We're very excited to have her performing."

An Artist Village at the Brew HaHa will provide festival attendees with the chance to see unique local and regional items, including handmade candles, jewelry, prints, illustrations, fiber arts, sculptures and more. Among the artists expected to be at the Artist Village are Erik Holland, Joe Winter, Bryce Chisholm and Lisa Kurt, all of who work in different mediums.

"There will be all kinds of stuff," Garber said. "It's a really great place to find local gifts that you might be looking for."

To raise even more funding, the Sierra Arts Foundation is also offering raffle prizes from area businesses and artists. Prizes include limited-edition prints, hotel stays, dinners for two, tickets to 2017 Brew HaHa and more. The cost of the raffle tickets is $5 each or five for $20.

The event is scheduled to be held on the second floor of the Nugget in the Nugget Ballroom (formerly the Rose Ballroom). A special room rate also is available that night for $49. This can be booked by calling 800-648-1177 and using the code TBREW16.

"The Nugget is a great community partner in this event and they are considered part of the SAF team," Zucker said. "We cannot wait for this year's event."

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