By Marianne Mueller


Perfect weather conditions paved the way to an event honoring the memory of Todd Hansmeier whose life was taken on June 30, 2014. Hansmeier graduated from Hononegah High School in 1985 and was a true advocate for educational opportunities throughout his life. Behind the Hanz Brew Fest mission is to raise funds to provide scholarships to graduating Hononegah High School seniors.

An estimated 800 people visited Settler’s Park on Saturday, July 16 where six hours of fun was found. Tents were filled with volunteers who served different styles of beer from 33 breweries. Over 100 flavors of beer were featured. Everyone who sampled beer went home with a commemorative sample glass.

Some of Todd Hansmeier’s favorite past times were incorporated into the Hanz Brew Fest to create an extra dose of pure fun! Bags tournaments, Jumbo Jenga, Jumbo Beer Pong brought on lots of friendly competition.  Family members and close friends took turns being dunked into a tank. Many bid on an array of silent auction items or took a chance on a fifty-fifty raffle.

Gary the Band, and The Stevee Nix provided hours of live music. Dancing feet moved to faster beats.

Rookie’s Bar & Grill, Veebo’s Pizza, and Fybabies offered a nice selection of unique foods and beverages to fit every taste and budget.

Periodic toasts to Todd were raised in loving memory. Keeping Todd’s memory alive many wore specialty apparel created by “Embroid This.”

One weekend after Todd’s passing, Brian was up in Minocqua, WI visiting friends and there was a beer festival going on, which Todd always went to. All of his local friends were up there celebrating in Todd’s honor. They invited Brian to the festival in place of Todd that year. Brian then decided that would be the perfect way to honor Todd’s memory.

“Todd liked beer, liked to have fun with his friends, and never missed out on an opportunity to support the local festivals or events. That is where the idea of putting together the Hanz Brew Fest came about.” Brian knew that this event would be something that his brother would attend and be honored to have his name-sake attached to a great event that helps to raise money for a scholarship.  Todd was affectionately known to some of his friends as “Hanz” – which is where the name originated for the Hanz Brew Fest. It was even a part of Todd’s email address.

The Hanz Brew Fest  is planned, and sponsored, by local business men, Brian Hansmeier (Executive Lawn Service), Ryan Asta (Rookie’s Pub & Grill), and Ryan Rydell (RyCOM Creative Corp). Joining in a show of support other main sponsors were: The Rockton Lion’s Club, Lamonica Beverages, Bud Light, Thompson’s Transmissions, and Axberg; a Division of Black Diamond.

After a successful Hanz Brew Fest in 2015, enough money was raised to present a $2,500 Scholarship to Allison Limke, a graduating senior at Hononegah High School. In a memorable moment during the 2016 Hanz Brew Fest Brian Hansmeier presented Limke with an extra-large check.

The group hopes to continue this scholarship by using the Hanz Brew Fest as the sole funding source every year. “I wanted to do something that would help my brother’s legacy live on; something that would benefit the community and his Alma Mater,”said Brian.

“This year we raised enough money to maintain the scholarship fund,” said Brian. “Everything went very smoothly and the volunteers definitely helped make it happen.”


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