Anita Mirchandani

Registered Dietitian, Certified Fitness Professional

9 Running Clubs That Cool Down With Beer

Who doesn’t love an ice-cold beer after a run? Turns out, it’s not a bad choice — beer is mainly water, after all. And a study from the University of Granada found that sipping a couple beers didn’t impair hydration in physically active men who drank regularly in moderation. The caveat? “Enjoying a few beers post-run is okay but not at the cost of not drinking water,” says Anita Mirchandani, M.S., R.D., fitness professional and dietitian in New York City, adding that beer is the least harmful alcohol to consume when your body’s recovering. Plus, it does contain carbohydrates for fueling. Just make sure you’re sipping eight ounces of water for every 12 of beer. Whether you just want to bond with your beer-loving running mates or need motivation to get moving, plan a visit with your running shoes and shorts to one of these nine breweries.

Night Shift Brewing (Everett, Massachusetts)

Who said running had to hurt to be good? When you join Night Shift’s Wednesday night 5K runs from May through October, the focus is on fun (and that’s before your first pint). After your casual sweat, join fellow runners in the taproom, where the Whirlpool, a hazy American pale ale, will do a more-than-ample job quenching your thirst.

Karbach Brewing (Houston)

If you’re in Houston on a Thursday night, get yourself to Karbach Brewing, where you can log a three- to 3.5-miler with like-minded beer lovers. Wear a Karbach Running Club shirt, and you’ll score a free post-run Weekend Warrior Pale Ale. Dogs, by the way, are also welcome, but don’t count on them scoring that same free post-run beer.

Sycamore Brewing (Charlotte)

Everybody needs a little kick in the butt to get moving every now and then. Try this one: Complete a one-, three- or five-mile sweat with Sycamore’s run club on Wednesday nights or Saturday afternoons, and you’ll be rewarded with a 25-percent-off coupon to use after your run. Even better: There’s usually a food truck and live music.

Great Dane Pub & Brewing (Madison)

Make sure you keep your Tuesday nights open if you’re in Madison. That’s when the Great Dane’s pub runs happen all year — which speaks volumes to their heartiness, given the Wisconsin winters. Great Dane has four locations in Madison along with another brewery near downtown called One Barrel Brewing. Each week, the club goes to a different location, but the five-week rotation never changes. Participants do a three- or six-mile route, and there’s incentive to attend: For every five runners in the group, the brewery gives a free pitcher of beer (except at One Barrel, where the first beer is free).

West Sixth Brewing (Louisville)

Forget about sipping whiskey for a night, even though you are a stone’s throw from the bourbon capital of the world, and join beer-drinking runners at West Sixth. They get together every Tuesday night for a 1.5- or three-mile run (or walk) and then enjoy a free pretzel after the run. You get prizes for completing five, 25, 50, and 100 runs. Just don’t be surprised to see swarms; more than 300 thirsty fitness fans have shown up at times.

Green Flash Brewing (San Diego)

Heard of the Hash House Harriers? This non-competitive, social running club has declared Green Flash its San Diego home base every fourth Tuesday of the month. All year long, you can run varying distances with the Green Flash Hash. Your four-legged buddy is even welcome in the tasting room.

Sanitas Brewing (Boulder)

No better day than Hump Day to run your butt off for a pint (or more likely, two). Show up at Sanitas on Wednesday nights in summer and early fall, and for logging three to five miles, you’ll earn a buy-one-beer-get-one-free-beer card. Fan favorites, by the way, include the Citrus Lager, Cherry Saison, and the IPA. Dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio.

Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery (Seattle)

Whether you’re in the mood for two miles, eight miles, or somewhere in between, you can take your pick when you show up for the year-round running club on Wednesday nights. Bonus? Runs are dog-friendly and even stroller-friendly, as is the brewery, which offers doggie water dishes and a fully stocked treat tub. Special events even pop up from time to time where runners get discounts based on the number of people who show up (like $1 off the first beer for 30 runners, $2 off for 50 runners, and $3 off for over 60 runners). Even without the discount, you won’t break the bank. Flying Bike is one of the few places in Seattle where you can get a craft beer for $5.

Denver Beer Co. (Denver)

As if you need another reason to drink in one of the country’s best beer states, here’s another: The brewery hosts a weekly 5K running club that includes a free pasta buffet for all participants. The event happens every Tuesday night year-round at the brewery’s Platte Street taproom. Denver Beer Co, by the way, plans to open a location in Arvada in 2017 and will be starting a run club there, too.

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