Friday, 04 October 2019 16:44

More than 65 beers on tap for Hoptoberfest at Rockingham Dragway

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ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond County Chamber of Commerce staff was busy Friday prepping for the fifth annual Hoptoberfest on Saturday.

Chamber President Emily Tucker said this will be a year of several firsts for the fall event.

With more than 65 craft beers on tap, she said this will be the first year a domestic brew — Coors Light —will be available.

Some first-time breweries include Wicked Weed Brewing out of Asheville and Charlotte-based Adams Beverages, which will offer their selections alongside other companies like Southern Pines, Railhouse, Dirtbag Ales, all three of which have been with the festival since its inception in 2014.

Dennis Vineyards out of Albemarle will be the only winery on site.

Other traditional elements of Hoptoberfest are a live band, with the Voltage Brothers taking the stage this year, and the chicken wing contest.

Tucker said the competition will be “as hot as the wings,” with 13 teams vying for the $750 prize.

Entering for the first time is Kickback Jack’s, a regional sports bar chain with locations in North Carolina and Virginia, including one in Southern Pines.

Two of the first teams to enter were The Hogfather and Lord of the Wings.

“It’s a fierce field this year,” Tucker said.

This is the first year tickets will be available at the gate, since the venue — Rockingham Dragway — has another event going on.

The track will also be hosting the season finale of the SFG Promotions 300, an event that owner Steve Earwood said drew more than 500 entrants last year.

This is also the first year the Chamber will have tickets for those under the drinking age of 21, which can only be purchased the day of the event.

The band will begin at 3 p.m. when gates open for V.I.P ticket holders and general admission attendees will be let in at 4.

The weather also seems like it will cooperate.

After a week of record-breaking temperatures for October, forecasters with the National Weather Service are calling for partly cloudy skies and a high around 70.

"We're expecting some Chamber of Commerce weather," Tucker said.