Coming up with an idea for a fundraiser that is unique enough to attract guests year after year is indeed a challenge.

So when friends Matt Haralson and Justin Martin got together years ago to plan an event, they knew it had to reach beyond the golf tournament crowd. The two attorneys set their sights on an event that included beer in a backyard brewfest atmosphere.

And Hops for Hope was born.

That first few years, it was held at Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend and it was quite a success. It’s now 2016 and the 10th annual Hops for Hope is fast approaching. It will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, May 6, at The Lily Barn in Townsend.

Just as it did 10 years ago, Hops for Hope will benefit New Hope Blount County Children’s Advocacy Center. Haralson is a former board member for New Hope.

The evening will feature good food, regional brews and a chance to help children. There will be 300 tickets sold, which means short lines for food and beer and the time to chat with local brewmasters.

The brewers will include Calfkiller Brewing Company, Saw Works Brewing Company, Crafty Bastard Brewery, Blackhorse Brewery, Depot Street Brewery, Goose Island Brewery, Last Days of Autumn, Hexagon Brewing Company and Good People. Casual Pint of Maryville and Eagle Distributing are the headliner sponsors.

Tabitha Damron is executive director for New Hope. She said there will be two musical acts this year, Sunshine Station and The Backseat Deliliahs. The meal will be catered by Miss Lily’s Cafe where great food will be paired with craft beers.

Tickets are $60 each and $30 for designated drivers. The proceeds will benefit New Hope and its services to child victims of sexual and physical abuse.

New Hope is a safe place for child victims of abuse, and the center does not charge for its services. It is designed to be the child’s “office,” where multiple agencies and professionals convene to coordinate and deliver services in one place so the child only has to tell his or her story once.

Damron said they saw 327 clients last year and are on course to increase that in 2016.

“We have already seen 100 children this year,” she said. “We will have higher numbers this year.”

Haralson said that first Hops for Hope was certainly something out of the ordinary. The popularity of brew fests seems to be growing.

“Brew fests have come after,” he said. “But this was definitely the first of its kind in Blount County.”

To purchase tickets, visit or purchase them at the Casual Pint in Maryville.

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