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On Your Mark: Craft Brew Races Are Back for 2019

Some people run races for the medals. Some run for the exercise. But increasingly, some run for the beer, too. Each year, runners crowd the starting lines of community “fun runs,” marathons, and even long distance ultras, motivated by a special cold brew (or three) waiting at the finish line.

While hearty stouts and hop-bursting IPAs are full of flavor, they also have their fair share of calories. This makes craft beer and racing a smart combination. As racers log enough miles to collect those coveted distance-racing car stickers, they’re also creating a furnace to burn off the extra calories and ward off the beer belly.

Beer and running are such a popular pair, it’s common now to cross a finish line and be handed your medal, a banana, and a beer. But too often, that free post-run beer is a watered down, unexciting macro brand. After all that hard work, who wants a sub-par brew?

What you really want at the finish line is a craft beer to quench your post-race thirst. But why enjoy one beer, when you could end your race at the entrance to an entire beer festival?

Craft Brew Races targets runners and beer fans alike, combining a laid-back 5k race with a full-on beer festival waiting for you at the end. And that beer festival isn’t an afterthought. Featuring more than 30 breweries, many of them local, along with live music and food trucks, it’s an entertaining and unique addition to the usual race circuit.

Matt Gray, founder of Craft Brew Races, is a veteran promoter of races and beer festivals — but originally as standalone entities. From working these seemingly disparate events, he found there was an opportunity to combine them. “There is a great crossover in people between beer and running,” says Gray. “They go hand in hand and they always have, but the craft beer movement allowed us to have this opportunity.”

For the 2019 season, Craft Brew Races will be hitting four cities around the U.S. The race calendar kicks off May 4 in Worcester, Massachusetts, and concludes on August 10 in Portland, Maine. In between, Newport, Rhode Island, and Stowe, Vermont, host runs through the spring and summer.

Just remember, this isn’t a Beer Mile. You get to go at your own pace and enjoy that hard-earned beer at the end, not during your run. (Though if you’re looking for more information on the Beer Mile, check out the official resource here.)

Find more information on Craft Brew Races as well as events near you at the Craft Brew Races website.

Lee Heidel
Lee Heidel is the managing editor of Brew/Drink/Run, a website and podcast that promotes brewing your own beer, consuming the…
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