Craft Beer & BBQ undergoes a Renaissance

Annual Warren County event gets another makeover.

This is the third year that the Warren County Historical Museum has thrown a summer festival, and for the third straight year there will be some significant changes.

The Buckeye Craft Beer & BBQ Festival is Saturday.

“It will be at the Renaissance grounds this year, and it will be our permanent home,” said Victoria Van Harlingen, executive director of the museum. “We started at Armco Park, but their facilities weren’t quite what we needed. Then we were at Miami Valley Gaming last year, but it was too small. The Renaissance grounds are huge, and we’re only using a portion of it, and because they do such a good job with their events, people are already predisposed to go there.”

Another major change is the type of libations that will be flowing.

“Last year, we added bourbon, but this year we’re deleting the bourbon,” Van Harlingen said. “It was just too difficult for a nonprofit to navigate Ohio’s liquor laws. We had craft beer last year, but this year, we’ll have over 60 craft beers.”

The festival began originally as a means for the museum to raise money to keep their historical properties open and running. Live music has been a signature part of it every year so far, and this year the headliner will be Crush, a Bon Jovi tribute band out of Canada.

“Lebanon already has a blues and a country festival, so we decided to be the rock festival,” Van Harlingen said. “We wanted a band that had a broad appeal, not too young, not too old, but one that runs the gamut.”

As far as food, the emphasis is BBQ, represented by regional establishments such as Dickey’s Barbecue Pit and Double D’s BBQ.

“For me, the fun part is the wood-fired smokers and the different kind of woods they use,” Van Harlingen said. “There’s hickory, cherry, apple, oak. You can go through and taste all these different, smoked meats.”

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How to go

What: Buckeye Craft Beer & BBQ Festival

Where: Renaissance Park, 10542 E. Ohio 73, Waynesville

When: Noon-11 p.m. Saturday, July 22

Cost: $5 admission

More info: 513-932-1817 or

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