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The Bellingham Sportsplex has been a staple for families raising kids in Bellingham for years. Offering soccer training, league opportunities, skating and hockey, the Sportsplex can be found full of kids pursuing potential passions and making the most of the community-minded space offered.

Come Saturday, October 21 however, you won’t find any kids on the indoor field at the Sportsplex. Instead, it will be full of their parents and community members pursuing a passion of their own– craft beer.

25 different breweries will be pouring for hundreds of Bellingham beer fanatics at the 2nd annual Hoptoberfest, benefitting the Sportsplex as well as Rebound Families, a social services organization benefitting families recovering from traumatic situations.

You heard me right… drinking beer for a really good cause? Seems too good to be true. For just $15, you’ll receive 5 tickets for samples from local breweries, ranging from Bellingham to Seattle. VIP attendees will receive extra tickets, a private seating area, as well as a private hour to taste beer from 5-6 pm for just $30 dollars.

The event’s beer is by Sound Beverage breweries such as Melvin Brewing, Kulshan Brewery and Aslan Brewing Co. In fact, you’ll be able to find multiple Tap Trail favorites on the indoor field. 

The general admission event, sponsored by Yelp, is from 6-10 pm and will feature not only the brewers, but food trucks and lawn games, including everyone’s beer garden favorite, cornhole.

Last year’s Hoptoberfest attendees went all out for the Oktoberfest themed event.

Jalapeños will be parked outside to fulfill everyone’s taco needs, along with more local food trucks because we all know beer festival season comes with a rediscovered affinity for snacking. Beyond local beer, food, music by Bellingham’s own Sunset Superman, and lawn games, attendees can bid on Seahawks tickets and packages from local businesses.

Sportsplex general manager and homebrewer, Marc Ronney, insists this event didn’t materialize because of his love for craft beer, but is excited about combining his job and his hobby for this event. Ronney has been to his fair share of beer festivals, including Great American Beer Festival and American Homebrewers Association festival, as well as several local and regional events. Ronney himself enjoys specifically brewing a variety of beers, but leans towards making his own IPA’s, reds, pales and porters.

Though this event isn’t necessarily as large scale as the GABF, there will be over fifty beers available to the Hoptoberfest crowd. Bellingham, be ready to break out your pretzel necklaces and lederhosen (people really wore those last year!) and enjoy one of Bellingham’s many excuses to enjoy the craft for a cause.

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Layne Carter
Tap Trail's Assistant Editor, Layne Carter, grew up in Spokane, Washington but has spent the last five years in Bellingham studying journalism at WWU. When she’s not beertending around town, you can find her biking, drinking beer or biking to a number of local breweries for a beer.

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