The Minnesota Brewery Running Series is Coming to a Brewery Near You
The Minnesota Brewery Running Series is growing like crazy. In much the same way that craft beer is growing nation wide, the 2015 series will co-host 28 different events in 2015.
That’s 15 more than last year!
For those of you who don’t live in the Twin Cities, you’ll be happy to know that there are three events at breweries outside of the Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area. Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Springs, Bent Paddle in Duluth and Mankato Brewery in, well, Mankato.
Every year I have written about this series, it continues to amaze me by how much it is growing. Perhaps it shouldn’t. In 2014, the craft beer industry has grown in the US to a $19.6 billion dollar industry. That’s up 22% from 2013. There is a fun info graphic here if you want to see more impressive numbers. In all of my various circles of running friends, craft beer always seems to be at the center of conversation.
Below highlights some of the things that make the MN Brewery Running Series a unique and fun intersection of running, beer, and the laid back craft lifestyle.
What Sets the Minnesota Brewery Running Series Apart?
The brewery running series isn’t a typical 5k race. In fact, Nate Herrington, (founder) likes to call it an “un-race.” More specifically what he means is that,
We don’t time the events, we don’t give out medals… we don’t do some of those glamorous things that other events do… if you like having a great time, feeling a part of the community, checking out a great local craft brewery within a casual running event that is very craft in nature (small scale)… this is the event for you.
Plus, of course, there is beer.
If you need an incentive to run, consider this. Everyone who participates (be that walking, crawling, pushing a baby jogger or with a dog…), gets a free pint of delicious beer at the finish. If you happen to win the
race event, you’ll get a free growler. This “Golden Growler,” is a highly coveted award.
Of course, when you’re hanging out at these events, you will also be treated to some great live music, access to food trucks (with samples or food to purchase), other local vendors (Seven Sundays, Way Better Snacks, and others with roots in MN).
These are Small Events
The largest event in the Minnesota Brewery Running Series is limited to 400 participants, while the smallest is about 75. It all depends on the capacity of the brewery.
These are smaller in nature” says Herrington. “and intentionally so… it really is meant to be more of an event based, community thing, where of course you get some great exercise.
It’s a way to enjoy running for the sake of running. Show up, run, have a good time, enjoy a great neighborhood event in a setting that might be different from what you have done in the past.
We get quite a few people out who have never run before… if I can help get these people on their feet to experience what it’s like going this far… that’s awesome to me!
How Much do The Events Cost?
I know what you might be thinking… an event with all of these great perks must cost hundred or thousands of dollars to register for. Far from it! Cost varies between $20 – $35 depending on the event and what is included.
The first event is April 4, 2015 at Dangerous Man. A super popular event, but smaller because of the size. Two events you’ll want to get on your calendar are the Tin Whiskers (4/11) and BauHaus (5/23) events. Registration is filling quickly for these!
These aren’t just a summer/spring thing either. They have events schedule all the way into January 2016.
At the Break your Resolution run in January, Herrington says, “We will have free samples of bacon, pizza and ice cream… all those fun things you wish you didn’t want to eat the second day of January.”
If you’d like to learn more about the Minnesota Brewery Running Series, checkout their newly designed web site.
What is your Favorite?
At the risk of playing favorites, I asked Nate to comment on his “favorite” beers / breweries and tap rooms. He didn’t want to pick, but my journalistic persistence paid off.
Favorite Brewery: “Fulton will always have a special place in my heart as they were the first to join the series. Sweet Child of Vine is always in my fridge.”
Favorite Beer: “Dangerous Man Milk Chocolate Stout… a run plus one of these on the weekend is the perfect Saturday for me.”
Favorite Tap Room: “Bauhaus… such a fun experience!”
Click below to listen my full interview with Nate about the series, and some of his other favorite things.
Another thing that makes the Minnesota Brewery Running series great is that they donate a huge portion of their proceeds to a local nonprofit. For a few years now, Bolder Options has been their primary partner.
This year, Herrington says they will be asking participants who they should be donating to as well.
Events in the Minnesota Brewery Running Series
Below is a complete list of the events in the Minnesota Running Series. To see more details, visit each one on our race calendar. If you’re not already training for these events… you don’t have to. They are pretty chill and very laid back. The idea is to simply get out and enjoy what is great about the local craft scene in Minnesota.
More than Beer
It really isn’t about beer. Sure, most runners love craft beer, but really, it could be anything (although craft beer is delicious). Rather, it’s about what happens when you gather with like minded individuals.
I have always loved how quickly you can get to know someone on a run. I can’t tell you how many runs I have been on with total strangers, and by the end, we’re sharing fairly deep aspects of our lives. It is almost as if since you have this one thing in common (running) you must have other things in common.
Over the course of several runs, spanning days, weeks and years, you share some of life’s more significant moments with each other (break-ups, raises, babies, GI issues…).
I believe this happens when you experience something in small, “craft” batches.
The Minnesota Running Series does this well. By hosting small batch events, centered around two things most people love (running and beer), you extend those ideas of community and friendship for an entire day – not just during the run.
Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.