Brewer to bike 100 miles inside Northfield brewhouse to support food bank

  • To celebrate the conclusion of “Mass Beer Week,” The Brewery at Four Star Farms co-owner Chris Sellers will ride his bicycle 100 virtual miles in the brewhouse to raise money for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts on March 13. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 2/28/2021 4:24:30 PM

NORTHFIELD — To celebrate the conclusion of “Mass Beer Week,” The Brewery at Four Star Farms co-owner Chris Sellers will ride his bicycle 100 virtual miles in the brewhouse to raise money for the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts on March 13.

Mass Beer Week takes place March 6-13. Sellers will begin his ride at around 10 a.m. in the brewhouse and equipment room, and suspects it will take roughly six hours to complete.

Sellers, who is also the business’ brewer, said customers can stop into the taproom at 508 Pine Meadow Road on March 13, from noon to 5 p.m. to cheer him on.

Donations to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts in support of the ride can be made at the brewery on March 13, or via Sellers’ GoFundMe page: gofundme.com/f/brewhouse-hundo. The GoFundMe page surpassed its $1,000 goal, reaching $1,450 as of Sunday, and Sellers is excited to see how much more the fundraiser will ultimately raise.

Seller said he has been riding indoors this winter, using a stationary trainer that adjusts resistance to create false gradients while he rides in place. This year he also began using an online app called Zwift, which creates virtual maps for cyclists to “travel” while riding in place, indoors on stationary trainers.

“I’m in my apartment in Greenfield doing this in the evenings this winter, and it got me thinking,” Sellers said. “I came up with this crazy idea to ride 100 miles on this thing.”

Reflecting on the last two months since The Brewery at Four Star Farms opened, he said he has been “floored” by the community support for the new business. Sellers said he recognized that while things were going well for the brewery team, other people across Western Massachusetts and beyond are dealing with negative economic impacts from the lasting COVID-19 pandemic, and he thinks this is a great opportunity to give back to the surrounding communities.

“The food bank continues to do great work for the whole area,” Sellers said. “In Western Mass., we need those services now more than ever. People are relying on that.”

Sellers called on county residents to contribute, if they can, to the GoFundMe. Additionally, a percentage of taproom sales from March 13 will be donated to the food bank.

“So donate a few dollars there, or come on down Saturday, March 13, give me a wave, a thumbs-up through the windows and buy some delicious beer knowing you’re helping support your community,” Sellers said.

People can follow along on March 13 through the brewery’s various social media channels as Sellers checks in about his progress. He will also be checking in at 50 miles, 75 miles and finally at 100 miles via @fourstarbeer on Instagram Live to talk about his progress during the ride.

Interested parties can also follow along with Sellers’ training as he prepares over the next two weeks via the cyclist training app Strava, @chrissellers, or follow him on Zwift.

Sellers said he often rides long distances, but for this time of year 100 miles is pretty far. He said he will build up distance cycling outside throughout the spring and summer, usually reaching a point where he rides 80 or 100 mile in late summer after getting back in shape each year.

Because the ride will likely be a “sweaty activity,” Sellers will isolate himself in the brewhouse for the March 13 event.

“If people want to come see me sweat out a pandemic’s worth of beers, they can come wave through the windows,” Sellers joked.

He acknowledged the fact that there seems to be a “fascinating, cosmic connection” between bicyclists and beer connoisseurs. While working for The People’s Pint in Greenfield over a decade ago, Sellers said area brewers got together to sample beers and have dinner, and he noticed many of the attending brewers were also serious cyclists.

Inspired by this connection, Sellers, Element Brewing Co. co-owner Dan Cramer and Garth Shaneyfelt went on to hold the first Petal 2 Pints brewery bike tour, which has been running annually for almost 12 years now.

“I’ve always been a cyclist, it’s an important part of my life, so to be able to connect these two passions is, well, it’s a lot of fun,” Sellers said.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts works to coordinate local food pantries to make sure that there is a supply of basic necessities to those who need it most. The mission of the organization is “to feed our neighbors in need and lead the community to end hunger.”

More information on Sellers’ ride can be found on the “Chris’s Brewhouse Ride for the Foodbank of Western Mass” Facebook event page. The GoFundMe can be found at bit.ly/2ZY0ADU.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.


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