Finding Camaraderie in Hops and Pops

New Group for Santa Barbara Fathers Pairs Bros with Brews and Babies

<strong>BEER AND BABES: </strong> The Hops & Pops crew at a recent gathering.
Courtesy Photo

My wife, Carey, and I had a baby girl eight months ago. Thanks to organizations like PEP (which stands for Postpartum Education for Parents), Carey immediately found a huge group of new mommy friends, and our social life started revolving around play dates. But when we got together, the dads didn’t have much context for developing friendships. Hands were shaken. Business cards were exchanged. Halfhearted promises to grab coffee were made. But that’s about it.

One member of Carey’s PEP group tried to start a dads’ group, but it didn’t take off, so Carey, ever the social director, decided to revive the group by renaming it “Hops and Pops.” Within hours, the Facebook page Carey started had more than 100 “Likes,” and a real group for bros, brews, and babies had begun.

So who are we? Just a group of guys who get together over beers with our babies. No big deal, right? Wrong. It’s amazing how many “mommy and me” type activities exist, but where’s the “daddy and me” stuff? My wife and I run our own marketing/design firm and share equally in the parenting duties, so I needed a network of friends who were going through the same sleep-training, teething, diaper-changing craziness that I was.

That’s what I found in Hops and Pops, which meets once a month at a different brewery, where dads bring their babies for easy banter over a cold beer (responsibly, of course). Moms are welcome to join or can just enjoy the much-needed break. Our next event is on Halloween with a “Daddy & Me” costume contest. Wait ’til you see the getup that the little one and I are wearing. I’ll give you a hint: We’re going to the Dagobah system. Why should moms have all the fun?

See facebook.com/groups/hopsandpops or email george@creativebutter.com.

George and Carey Bradshaw run their own marketing-and-design agency called Creative Butter. See creativebutter.com.

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