Will Run for Beer: 14 Fun Beer Runs for Ale Addicts
The Best Beer Runs
There's nothing like celebratory beers after crossing the finish line, but why waste your time trying to find a nearby pub? Beer runs—or races that include a brewsky mid-run or at the finish line (or both)—are popping up all over the country. And if you're skeptical at how your body would feel about this, you'll be happy to hear Drinking Beer Post-Run Gets the Hydration Stamp of Approval (not to mention, there are these 7 Healthy Reasons to Be Drinking Beer). So next time you're thinking of signing up for a fun run, try one of these 14 and end your loop with a lager. We'll drink to that!
Bend Beer Chase
Type/Length: 70-mile relay
Location: Bend, OR
What to Expect: You'll need to grab your go-to happy hour group for this 70-mile relay. You'll stop at four of Bend's craft breweries for a drink along the route and finish downtown for the post-race festival. In case the 70 miles wasn't enough, you and your teammates can still run the 6K "Keg Leg," which includes another seven pit stops for beer. Now that's going the extra mile(s). (Never run a relay? Heed these Lessons from a First-Time Ragner Relay Race Finisher.)
Craft Brew Races
What to Expect: This 5K race series hosts events all over the country, including Boulder, CO; Portland, OR; Austin, TX; Savannah, GA; and Charleston, SC. Although the courses vary, you can expect to find live music, food, and unlimited craft beer samples from local breweries at each. Since you deserve to throw back a few pints without worrying about how you're going to get home, the race offers discounted post-race festival tickets for your DD.
Smuttynose's Will Run For Beer
Type/Length: 5K to half marathon
Location: New England
What to Expect: It doesn't get much simpler than this New England race series: You run your race and you're rewarded with beer. There are eight events total and if you run five of them, you'll earn a special Will Run for Beer jacket from Smuttynose Brewing Company. While all the beer is only Smuttynose variety (what a compromise), the races range in length from 5Ks to half marathons, so you can still pick part of your poison. (P.S. Have you heard of Fitness Beer? It's a thing.)
The Brew Mile
Type/Length: 1 mile
Location: Brooklyn, NY
What to Expect: If you're looking for a race that's more beer, less running, the Brew Mile in Brooklyn is for you. The course is only one mile, but if you're concerned that limits you to minimal brewskies, fear not: There's a full-pint pit stop every quarter mile. (So really, your liver will probably be happy it's just one mile.)
Harpoon Oktoberfest Road Race
Type/Length: 3.6 miles
Location: Windsor, VT
What to Expect: Finally, a race that marries your fall goals and your fitness goals. This just-over-a-5K course takes you on a gorgeous jaunt through the East coast fall foliage and ends with an Oktoberfest-approved beer and bratwurst. Prost!
Harpoon Five Miler
Type/Length: 5 miles
Location: Boston, MA
What to Expect: Who can turn down a course that runs through a place called 'Pleasure Bay' and ends at Harpoon's South Boston brewery? Wind down after a quick five miles at Harpoon's post-race party featuring the famous craft brewery's full flight of Harpoon and UFO beers. (By the way, Lululemon is calling Beer the "New Yoga Pant."
Great American Brewery Runs
Location: NJ and PA
What to Expect: This beer-soaked series holds 5Ks in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and just launched a 5,000 yard race in Philly. After your 3.1 miles, grab your drinking buddies for some music, food, and life-size beer pong (yes, it's exactly what you're imagining) at the post-race party.
Green Beer 5K
Location: Chicago, IL
What to Expect: Just because it's St. Patty's doesn't mean you should have to choose between drinking green beer and going on a run. If you live in Chicago (and soon Austin!), you can channel a little luck o' the Irish and reach that PR along the lakefront. Either way, there will be plenty of post-race pints to go around.
Location: Utica, NY
What to Expect: Boilermaker may send you on a grueling (but gorgeous!) nine-mile run through upstate New York's famous hills, but they pretty much gaurentee there will still be beer even if you're the last to cross that finish line—the race provides 300 free kegs of the cult favorite Saranac ale at the post-race party! What better way to forget how much pain you're in? (This 110-Year-Old Woman Crushed 3 Beers and a Scotch Every Day.)
Brew to Brew
Type/Length: 43-mile relay
Location: Kansas City, MO
What to Expect: This race is for the serious runner beer geeks. Starting at Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City, MO, the course runs through fields and farmlands finally ending at Freestate Brewery in Kansas. That's right: You're traveling over the state border for a total of 43 miles (luckily, you can relay the distance with your drinking buddies). After that trek, you can feel good about helping to fundraise for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation—and about the two free pints you're about to down.
Run for Victory
Location: Downingtown, PA
What to Expect: This beer-soaked 5K is hosted by Philly favorite Victory Brewing Company. A flat road race and just 3.1 miles, it's the perfect place to PR...and then celebrate with a pint or two. (Learn about the world Beyond the PR: Score a Fitness World Record!)
Race to the Taps
Type/Length: 4 miles
Location: Ashville, NC
What to Expect: Race to the Taps puts a whole new meaning to a 'six-pack': This race series includes six four-mile races, each hosted by a different local brewery. You can run just one or two of the races, but if you run all six and get the six-pack swag: a free t-shirt, koozie, and beer at each finish line. (Find out The Calorie Count of All Your Favorite Cocktails.)
Lucky Bucket Run
Location: Ashland, NE
What to Expect: Lucky Bucket Brewery just wants people to have a good time, whether they run, walk, or just cheer their friends on. Rather than limiting awards to the first place finishers, they also give out awards for best costume. And they extend the afterparty into a celebration for the sideline supporters as well by bringing their entire brew operation out to the course, including two beer trucks full of kegs and 20 tap handles.
Dogfish Dash 8K
Location: Milton, DE
What to Expect: Forget the medal—finishers are handed a brew in a commemorative pint glass as soon as they cross the finish line. Refill with the famous Dogfish Head 60 minute IPA post-race or try a pint of the brewery's gluten-free grog (it's one of our 12 Gluten-Free Beers That Really Do Taste Great).