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“It’s a perk knowing people are helping out local businesses by supporting us as well as the brewery and charities!”

Hops Trot

Among other things, 2020 will go down as the year of the virtual event. 

We’ve seen virtual concerts, virtual comedy nights, virtual trivia nights, virtual DJ sessions (some from our very own DJ Denny Oh), and virtual happy hours.

Earlier this year, sometime during the Spanish-American War (also known as “April”), our good friends over at Bikes & Beers were one of the first to throw their hat into the virtual ring with their Social Distancing Ride. Aimed at keeping people active and getting outside during the crucial, initial stages of the pandemic — and raising some money in the process –, this event was an unequivocal success, setting the standard for virtual events.

Now, with a chill in the air, Bikes & Beers is hosting yet another virtual event, the Hops Trot, beginning October 15th and running through November 30th!

We caught up with Sam Accardi, founder of Bikes & Beers, to get the lowdown on this stellar event. But, before we learned more about the Hops Trot, we wanted to hear how the Social Distancing Ride went.

“Amazing!” Sam reports. “We had a total of 255 breweries across the country, including a few international breweries, participating. The total number ended up being 7,500 riders.”

A native of the area, Sam has been running Bikes & Beers events from their headquarters in Cape May County for several years. The schedule for 2020 included 24 events at 24 different breweries with five of those events also planning to host a Hops Trot on the Sunday after the Bikes & Beers event.

“However, with COVID-19 event complications, those events did not happen,” Sam says, “so we decided to roll out the Hops Trot virtually for 2020 and add some of our favorite breweries to make it a total of twelve breweries.” 

We’re definitely in some good company with those twelve breweries: some of the breweries we’ve always admired are on that list.

As a participant in the Hops Trot, you get a ton of awesome swag, including a buff mask branded with our logo, a Hops Trot beer koozie, an awesome race bib, some sweet freebie snacks, and a finisher medal.

But the pièce de résistance is the two tokens for free beer, included with your $39 registration fee. It’s not a prize — you don’t have to have run the fastest or farthest to get your free beer. In fact, Sam notes that the Hops Trot is the only virtual run in the country that culminates in the runners receiving free beer through redeemable tokens once they’re finished.

Not only will you get some much-needed exercise — let’s face it, the pandemic has probably seriously hindered your usual fitness regime –, and you’ll get some great beer when you’re done, but the proceeds from your registration fee go to some very worthwhile charities, including Feeding America, an organization dedicated to connecting over 60,000 food banks, pantries, and meal programs throughout the country. 

“Feeding America has been a partner of ours for various Bikes & Beers events for about three years,” Sam says. “We decided to work with them primarily for this event because food banks across the country have been depleted due to COVID-19, and we recognize that it is a top priority right now to make sure everyone has access to food in some capacity.” 

And participating in the Hops Trot really couldn’t be easier:

  • Choose a distance — the Malty Mile, the Stout Route 5K, the IPA 10K, or the Hoppy Half — and sign up here.
  • Run on your own personal schedule. Be sure to log your miles!
  • Submit your results
  • Post a picture on their Facebook page! (Totally optional. You’ll probably be pretty sweaty after all of that running, anyway.)
  • Maybe win some awesome prizes.
  • Definitely drink some awesome beer.

Sam and his team at Bikes & Beers are still working out the prizes, but you can expect to end up with some sweet new running gear if you play your cards right.

“It will mostly be running store gift cards, and we have gift cards from REI,” Sam tells us. “It really depends on how big the event gets in terms of the number of runners that will determine how many prizes we can include.”

However, we hear that the Cape May run is currently the one with the most signups.

“Being based in Cape May County,” he says, “it’s a perk knowing people are helping out local businesses by supporting us as well as the brewery and charities!”

You’ve only got a few days before the event begins on October 15th, but you can sign up at any time and still participate. Sign up here, and be sure to let us know how it goes when you stop in for your beer!