Run Local, Drink Local

Jodi Hausen's picture

An excuse to exercise.

A nice run followed by a craft beer: what could be better? Seems Bozeman Running Company's got the right idea. Not only has BRC seemingly cornered the early season running market with the Run to the Pub, but the Main Street mavens of everything running are also organizing monthly 5k brew runs through October.

This year's series kicked off this week at 406 Brewing on the north side of town. These aren't races, mind you—there's no timing, no fees, and no registration (though they do ask that you RSVP). Just show up, run, and, of course, stay afterward to have a beer or two. BRC owner Casey Jermyn said he started the runs last year as “something fun and creative to do to bring the running community together.” Last night, though, he was worried the less-than-kind weather would keep people away. His worries were unfounded.

Bozeman Breweries, Running Bozeman
Beer: the ultimate motivator.

Under dark, threatening skies with temps in the 30s, more than 60 hoofers hopped around in an effort to stay warm behind BRC's nearly ubiquitous inflatable starting line outside 406 Brewing Company. Runners ranged in age from 20-something to “older 'n hell,” as participant Pat O'Connor referred to himself. So were these die-hard runners or die-hard beer drinkers? Hard to say.

"The event combines two of my passions,” O'Connor said. “Running and Beer.” “It's a lot of fun,” his friend, Mark Slater agreed. “It's fun to get out and socialize with everybody... and there's beer!”

brewery run, Bozeman, running
Now we can drink!

After the run, people chatted about the course that took them through the far northeast Bozeman neighborhood and incorporated some of the trail system which, organizers say, they try to do for each run. “Nice running with you,” Tara Whiton said to Bri Baker, who she'd just met on the run. “Yeah, thanks for setting the pace,” Julie Agnew added.

Most runners opted for a cold brew in a warm pub afterward. A sea of bare-legged, spandex-clad pavement pounders and trail trotters swelled the tasting room's patronage, outnumbering pure beer drinkers by a seemingly wide margin. “We love the crowd,” said John Muth, 406 Brewing manager, as he surveyed the throngs. Of course they do.

Bozeman breweries, Beer, Bozeman

Though BRC raffles a new pair of running shoes and a growler of beer after each run, runners need to fill those tiny running wallets with cash for post-run beer and food. For obvious reasons, breweries are clamoring to host one of the runs. “Now the breweries are calling us to get on the list,” Jermyn said.

Here's the schedule for the rest of the season:
May: Madison River Brewing Company (bus transportation available)
June: Bozeman Brewing Company
July: Bridger Brewing
August: Katabatic Brewing Company (bus transportation available)
September: Outlaw Brewing
October: Map Brewing Company

For more information, go to Bozeman Running Company's Facebook Page.

Jodi Hausen lives in Bozeman. She is a freelance writer, recovering triathlete, and occasional homebrewer.

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