ROCKINGHAM – The countdown is on and the third annual Hoptoberfest celebration is just days away, so let’s get clucking!
The sold-out event is set to take place Saturday, October 7, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Richmond Plaza in Rockingham. Tickets went on sale in June and sold out in a couple weeks. Looking ahead to all that this year’s event has in store, it certainly comes as no surprise.
The Hoptoberfest team, led by Neil Robinette, with Emily Tucker and Seth Allen, has been hard at work on this event since the end of last year’s event.
In 2015, the Richmond County Chamber of Commerce teamed up with Tri-City and Perdue of Rockingham to put on the inaugural Hoptoberfest event. The idea for a craft beer festival in Richmond County was a new one, but the team had faith that they could pull off an event that would eventually become a trademark of our county. And they were certainly correct.
The inaugural Hoptoberfest event was a sure success with over 350 attendees coming out to sample products from three breweries and one winery. This paved the way for a partnership between the three organizations, and the event has done nothing but grow over the last three years. This year’s Hoptoberfest is the largest one yet, selling out 650 tickets.
Why such a following for this event? In two words: craft beer.
During the three-hour event, attendees will be able to responsibly sample as much craft beer as they would like from the 10 brewing companies who have signed on to this year’s event. Recruited from all across the state of North Carolina, nearby breweries such as Railhouse Brewery of Aberdeen, and slightly farther Mash House Brewery of Fayetteville, have signed on to this year’s event.
Other craft breweries, such as Aviator Brewing Company and Fainting Goat Brewing Company, both of Fuquay Varina, and Deschutes Brewery of Durham, will have a slightly farther commute to be a part of the event’s action. The Hoptoberfest team is also excited to host Foothills Brewpub, Bear Creek Brews, Fortnight Brewing Company, Dirtbag Ale and YesterYears Brewery, will each also be represented at Saturday’s event as they serve up samples with a smile.
Additionally, for the first time, this year’s event will also boast a beer truck, brought on by event sponsor, Healy Wholesale. The beer truck will have over a dozen more craft beers on tap from local favorites such as Southern Pines Brewing Company and Hi-Wire, to nationally loved craft brews such as Sierra Nevada and New Belgium.
But as if 10 breweries and a beer truck was not enough, this year’s event is thrilled to have both Rocky River and Dennis Vineyards as a part of the event. Both wineries will be on hand offering samples of their local wines to anyone who has a preference for grapes over hops, or is just looking to mix things up between samples.
The other side of this Saturday’s Hoptoberfest event is the signature wing competition. In addition to sampling beer and wine, eventgoers will have the opportunity to sample some of the best wings Richmond County can cook up. This year, 12 teams have signed up to go grill-to-grill as they battle for the coveted wing champion title and $750 cash prize. Made possible by event partner, Perdue of Rockingham, the 12 teams will cook up their best wings and signature sauces to be devoured by judges and attendees.
The Blackwater Rhythm and Blues Band will take the stage to provide the perfect soundtrack to the event. Their unique blend of beach music, blues, and funk is sure to get everyone up and dancing.
Come rain or shine, the beer, wine, wings, and music are sure to make for one exciting Saturday evening.
For more details on this event, go to their Facebook page, “3rd Annual Hoptoberfest” or go to www.richmondcountychamber.com.