NEW BRITAIN - It all started two years ago when a group of craft-beer-loving friends came together to help another friend’s son in need.
Stephen Wood of West Hartford, known for his website Connecticut Museum Quest, a collection of attractions throughout the state, is the father of an 11-year-old boy who has Smith-Magenis syndrome.
SMS is a rare genetic disorder that affects multiple organ systems. It is characterized by a pattern of abnormalities present at birth as well as behavioral and cognitive problems including violent outbursts and self-injury.
“We had the idea of doing something for charity,” a board member of Hops for Hope, Nikki Vinci, said.
With Wood’s son in mind and their motto of “Do good with great beer,” the Connecticut Hops for Hope Brewfest was born.
Now in its second year, the fest returns to the city on Saturday, Sept. 2, at Falcon Field, 721 Farmington Ave.
One hundred percent of all the proceeds benefit the Smith-Magenis Research Foundation to help fund research to improve the treatment options and lives of children with SMS.
In the first year, organizers were able to collect more than $31,000, a number that Vinci said makes a large impact on the foundation but gets little attention.
What makes Hops for Hope unique is that it’s a small-scale, intimate festival meant for attendees to spend more time chatting with local brewers and hanging out with other craft beer enthusiasts.
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online at tickets.beerfests.com/event/hopsforhope. Guests have the option of choosing VIP or general admission tickets.
VIP allows early entry from 1 to 2 p.m. with free lunch and access to exclusive beers not available to other festival-goers. VIP tickets are limited and cost $79 plus a ticketing fee.
General admission is from 2 to 5 p.m. The Whey Station and Smokin’ With Chris food trucks with be on site. Tickets cost $55 plus ticketing fee. Group discounts are available for parties of eight or more.
Designated driver tickets can be bought for $15.
The fest will go on rain or shine. Only people 21 years of age or older can attend, IDs will be checked upon entering. Children and pets are not permitted.
For more information, visit cthopsforhope.com.