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Fifth annual Brews on the Beach this Saturday

Sara Randall, left, and Jennifer Reed hand out commemorative glasses at last year’s Brews on the Beach craft beer festival at Hooper’s Crab House in West Ocean City.

(Sept. 6, 2013) Hooper’s Crab House in West Ocean City will host the fifth annual Brews on the Beach craft beer festival on Saturday. The festival will feature more than 100 beers from around 25 breweries and is centered on local brews this year, Hooper’s Manager Patrick Brady said.

“In the past, we featured craft brews from around the United States. This year, we’re really focusing on Maryland, Delaware, Virginia” and other local breweries, Brady said. “Just from Ocean City alone, we’re going to have Fin City, Burley Oak, de Lazy Lizard, Shorebilly (and) Tall Tales” breweries at the festival.

Fin City is Hooper’s in-house brewing company, located on the second floor of the restaurant. The idea for Ocean City’s oldest brewery came two years ago at the Brews on the Beach festival, when brewer Vince Wright approached Hooper’s staff.

Fin City will have several brews available for tasting at Saturday’s festival: its White Marlin Pale Ale, Captain Jack’s Pumpkin Ale, Jackspot Amber and Sneaky Wheat.

Visitors who like what they taste at the festival can bring home a build-your-own six-pack for $10. Mississippi native Blake Haley will play live music at the event.

Brews on the Beach started in 2009, when then-local craft beer enthusiast and Clear Channel Radio Manager Jefferson Ward approached Hooper’s with the idea.

“He just wanted to bring awareness to the craft beer world and thought Hooper’s would be a good fit,” Brady said. “Now that we have a microbrewery inside Hooper’s, it’s a perfect fit.”

Tickets for Brews on the Beach cost $25 in advance or $35 at the door and include unlimited two-ounce beer samples and a commemorative fifth annual Brews on the Beach pint glass. Part of the proceeds benefits Believe In Tomorrow Children’s House by the Sea, an organization that provides terminally ill children and their families with a weeklong vacation in Ocean City.

“It’s just a great organization. You can’t help but want to help them,” Brady said. Hooper’s holds other events throughout the year, like its Dream Date Auction, to raise money for the charity and gives House by the Sea families an Eastern Shore crab feast while they’re in town, he said.

Last year, admissions from around 500 brew enthusiasts helped fund the charity.

Brews on the Beach runs from 12-5 p.m. Saturday at Hooper’s Crab House at 12913 Ocean Gateway, located at the foot of the Route 50 bridge in West Ocean City. Attendees must be 21 years old and bring a valid ID.

Designated driver tickets are available for $10 and include unlimited non-alcoholic drinks at the festival. Call Hooper’s at 410-213-1771 for advance tickets.

Hooper’s will be open for normal business during Brews on the Beach, which will take place outside under a tent.

For more information, call Hooper’s or visit www.hooperscrabhouse.com/upcoming-events.php.

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