May 26, 2020

Kari Humphreys, Event Planner
April Brews Day & Max Higbee Center
(360) 746-9841

Max Higbee Center Announces online April Brews Day @Home - June 12, 2020

Mark your calendars! April Brews Day @Home will take place online on June 12, 2020 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase a variety of take-home packages with interesting and tasty groupings of beer, merchandise, and more. Packages can be retrieved via curbside pickup at Max Higbee Center or local delivery. Be prepared to pop open your brews with your “quaranteam” at home and share your fun on social media for a virtual “cheers” to the community and April Brews Day.

Earlier this year, April Brews Day organizers made the difficult decision to cancel the beloved and popular craft beer festival in Bellingham, Washington to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Thankfully, title sponsor WECU and the local beer community rallied to save April Brews Day, an important fundraiser for Max Higbee Center. Whatcom County world-renowned breweries are coming together to produce tantalizing, limited-run beers to help celebrate our region's brew culture, and to ensure that Max Higbee Center will continue to receive funding during these challenging times. Breweries are getting creative and brewing up one-off sensations, along with your ‘tried and true’ favorites to bring Bellingham’s favorite beer festival to your doorstep.

Proceeds from April Brews Day @Home will benefit Max Higbee Center, which offers community-based social and recreation programs for people with developmental disabilities in Whatcom County. Each year, Max Higbee Center relies on April Brews Day to bring in roughly 45% of its annual budget and the cancellation of the annual beer festival will undoubtedly create a budget shortfall.

“This virtual event marks the beginning of new possibilities as we all figure out how to live with a different set of rules and norms as a result of COVID-19,” said Kait Whiteside, Executive Director of Max Higbee Center. “April Brews Day @Home reinvents what it looks like to enjoy our craft beer culture, support community, and keep nonprofits like Max Higbee Center afloat.”

To stay informed as more April Brews Day @Home details are released, follow April Brews Day on Facebook. Questions about the event and COVID-19 safety measures can be sent to Kari Humphreys at

About April Brews Day:

Hosted by WECU and Max Higbee Center, April Brews Day is Bellingham’s largest
annual beer festival which would have celebrated its 19th anniversary on Saturday, April 25, 2020. The event welcomes 65 Pacific Northwest breweries, local entertainers and food trucks, and 5,000 festival attendees, volunteers and brewers to Depot Market Square in Downtown Bellingham. In the past, April Brews Day has been the culminating event of Bellingham Beer Week.

About Max Higbee Center:

Max Higbee Center supports and empowers people with developmental disabilities to build health, friendship, and community through recreation. The Center started as a grassroots effort led by educators, families and people with developmental disabilities who wanted quality recreation and social opportunities in Whatcom County. Dr. Max Higbee was instrumental in passing Washington State law that required free and appropriate education in public schools for students with isabilities. Dr. Higbee also spearheaded the movement to create inclusive recreation opportunities and worked with community members to open a nonprofit drop-in center in 1984 for people with developmental disabilities. The Center was later renamed in honor of its inspiring and humble founder. Today, Max Higbee Center serves over 400 individuals with developmental disabilities in Whatcom County through its welcoming social and recreation programs.

During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, the Center temporarily closed with the Washington State Stay At Home Order and cancelled all in-person programs. Since the closure, staff swiftly created a new model for services and now offer daily virtual programming online to keep Max Higbee Center members engaged and connected during a socially isolating time. Staff also began individualized outreach through weekly phone calls to the Center’s most isolated members to ensure basic needs are met and to create social connections for those who do not have technology or adequate support to access virtual programs.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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