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Merrell and Dogfish Head Team Up to Make Beer and Trail-Running Shoes

You know why a beer tastes so good after you mow the lawn, right? It’s because beer tastes so good at all times. But also because beer is packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs and craves all the more after you have been out there sweating in your yard.

And what also leads to a lot of sweating? Trail running. It follows, then, that beer will also taste great after this most excellent form of exercise. But don’t grab just any brew after you log those overland miles, instead crack open a beer from Dogfish Head that’s so perfect for après trail running that Merrell, a company noted for its excellent trail running shoes, just had to be a part of it.

Merrell Dogfish Head Sea Quench Shoes
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The beer is called Sea Quench Ale Session Sour and as the name suggests, it’s salty and refreshing and delightful. The ale, which clocks in at an easily manageable 4.9% alcohol by volume, features lime juice (both from fresh limes and black limes) and sea salt, a mild maltiness, and light hops that rate a 10 on the IBU scale. Even with that low ABV, the beer goes down dangerously easily — you could suck two or three back in a matter of minutes after a long run, though it would probably be advisable to alternate with water.

Now, that’s a lot about beer, but what is Merrell doing here? The brand is doing what it does best, and that’s making footwear. Specifically, it made the Agility Synthesis X Dogfish trail-running shoe, which comes in a hard-to-miss “SeaQuench” color. It’s a mix of decidedly marine-like green hues with a pattern reminiscent of algae on the upper. There’s also algae in the midsole. Like, for real: The shoe’s midsole is made from 10% algae. And the outsole is 30% recycled material, while that upper we talked about uses the equivalent of two recycled plastic bottles. The shoe’s lining is 40% recycled material and the laces are 100% recycled.

Merrell Dogfish Head Sea Quench Shoes
Steven John/The Manual

So the shoe is remarkably eco-friendly. And that’s great, but how does it handle out there on the trail? Also pretty great. An aggressive tread pattern bites into just about any terrain, from loose scree to grass to mud to pavement, while that partially algae derived midsole gives plenty of return on each footfall. The shoe is lightweight at just nine ounces but still has plenty of support and absorbs those strikes as you charge down hill toward your waiting SeaQuench Ale.

I know all this because, in the name of journalistic integrity, I’ve gone for a number of runs in these shoes followed by sips of this beer. Anything for journalistic integrity. And getting outside. And beer.

Steven John
Steven John is a writer and journalist living just outside New York City, by way of 12 years in Los Angeles, by way of…
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