Sweat for Suds, Part I: Denver Beer Co. Run Club

There are two big reasons why I love Denver.

  1. The drinking culture in this city is second to none: we host the best beer events and our incredible number of breweries are world-class.
  2. And perhaps it’s the collective mindset, or perhaps it’s the altitude that makes every mile-high step feel like ten sea-level steps, but everybody is healthy and trim. That means when you’re at the bar playing wingman to your buddy, you might end up with the “fat friend” but that fat friend is still hot by any other city’s standards. This is gender non-specific. The boys and the girls just look better in these parts.

It’s natural, then, that Denver would meld these two cultures into bar-hosted running clubs. In the “Sweat for Suds” series, you’ll learn where you can lose calories on a run and immediately reclaim them via a few pints.

Name: Denver Beer Co. Run Club

Venue: Denver Beer Co.

Denver Beer Co.

Time: Tuesdays at 6:30PM.  The club recommends you arrive at 6PM so you can stretch, mingle, and sign the waiver.

Course Length: 5 K/3.1 Mi.

Course Directions: From Denver Beer Co., go south on Platte St. past REI; go under Speer Blvd.; run to Downtown Aquarium and hop onto the South Platte River Trail going north; cross the river at Confluence Park; merge onto the Cherry Creek Trail; turn left onto Delgany St.; turn left on 16th Street Mall; cross the Millennium Bridge; cross Little Raven St. and take the Commons Park trail that hugs the road; run past Denver Skatepark and under 20th St.; do a half-loop around City of Cuernavaca Park; get on Rockmont Dr. going south, which becomes Platte St. and takes you back to Denver Beer Co.

Denver Beer Co. Run Club Route

Difficulty of Course: Low. It is relatively short and, save for the stairs on Millennium Bridge, it is flat.

Cheatability of Course: High. There are lots of out-and-back sections that can be cut short, plus much of the course is unlit so you can cheat covertly. If you’ve got a stitch in your side or if you just want to get a beer before the crowd rushes in, you’ll be able to sneak away unnoticed.

Size of Group: According to Denver Beer Co. co-owner/co-brewer/Run Club co-organizer (with wife Diana) Patrick Crawford, the January 31st run was the biggest yet. I counted somewhere in the low 50’s–plenty of people to keep it safe.  As this is only the 10th or 11th or 12th (who’s counting?) run, one can expect the numbers to keep growing.

Competitiveness of Group: Low. Everybody is pretty relaxed—conversation pace all around.

Dog Friendliness: High. The tap room was filled with pooches before the run and most of them joined us on the course.

After-Race Goodies: Pasta dish with bread.

Drink Selection: We’re talking about Denver Beer Co. here. They were open for, what, 2 or 3 months before they won a Great American Beer Festival medal? Yeah, it’s a great selection and with the ever-rotating beer menu, one can have a different beer every time they run. I had the Project X342 IPA—very piney and reminiscent of a West Coast IPA.

Project X342 IPA

Miscellaneous: The Denver Beer Co. Run Club was conceived simply because Patrick likes both running and beer. He attributes much to the “Beer Mile” events he ran in college (pound a beer, run a lap, tag the next person). The club hopes to sponsor Denver Beer Co. relay teams in other established races, too. A team for Runnin’ of the Green is currently being formed.

See the full route on MapMyRun.com

About Chris Bruns

Chris Bruns is a self-professed beer geek living in Denver. Chris spends much of his time brewing beer at home with friends and family, attempting to visit every brewery in Colorado, attending special beer events and festivals, purchasing and assessing the latest releases from local breweries, and blogging about his adventures in the world of craft beer. He is also the Denver Craft Beer Examiner on Examiner.com. Contact Chris by e-mail at chrisdbruns@gmail.com or through his blog at www.beerincolorado.blogspot.com.