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‘Hoops and Hops’ Tradition Continues in Downtown Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  One year from now the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament will be back in Des Moines at Wells Fargo Arena. This weekend a tradition that began when the tournament first come to town a few years ago continues. Hoops and Hops returns to Cowles Commons downtown.

Organizers expect 3,000 to 4,000 people to come and go during the day. Hoops and Hops is a free event that brings people together to watch March Madness and drink Iowa Craft beer.

Events Manager for the Iowa Craft Beer Tent said the event promotes and showcases Iowa breweries.

“We’ve actually got a really good balanced line up this year, we’ve got a few IPAs, we’ve got a sour from Peace Tree that will be on, I’m a pretty big sour fan so I’m excited about that one. We’ve got a Tip the Cow, a really good stout from Single Speed Brewery, that’s a great one, especially if the weather is a little bit cooler,” Hall said.

The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament will be played on TVs inside the heated tent that holds around 400 people. Outside you can shoot hoops and grab a bite to eat at some of Des Moines area’s best food trucks.

The forecast is rainy Friday night but Hoops and Hops Operations Manager Dave Diers said that shouldn’t scare people away.

“It doesn’t matter so much about the weather, it matters about getting together, the comradery, St. Patrick’s Day is huge here in Des Moines, everybody loves to have a good time. We are good hearty Midwest people so that’s what we try to do at these events is keep it local, have some fun, have free admission so people can come and go as they please and bring the entire family,” Diers said.

There is also a free performance from “The Voice” Finalist and Des Moines native Jon Mero. He performs Friday from 7 P.M. to 9 P.M. and Saturday from 5 P.M. to 7 P.M.

Hoops and Hops is Friday and Saturday from 9 A.M. to 11 P.M. at Cowles Commons in downtown Des Moines.