EVENT: Running is Better With Beer at the Finish Line: The 2017 Brew Hop 5K + Craft Beer Festival

[Photos by Conor Rose and Lea Faminiano]

Everyone we know who can legitimately call themselves a runner is either an extremely intense and hardcore person in all other aspects of their life or just absolutely crazy. Typically, they are both, and almost always, they’re a beer fiend, guzzling down whatever beer is handed to them after whatever incredibly long distance they just conquered.

Crazy enough, we’ve always wanted to be one of those runner types, and this past weekend we got a sneak peek into the runner/beer life with the second annual Brew Hop 5K and Craft Beer Festival, where we ran a 5K and were rewarded with not just one beer, but an unlimited amount of it.

Tons of runners and beer lovers (most were one in the same) trekked to Randall’s Island to participate on a day in which Indian summer graced us with warm, clear sunny October weather. A scenic 3.1 mile course looped under bridges, through parks, and mostly along the water, offering sweeping views of upper Manhattan. The race atmosphere felt very no pressure, purely just for fun, plus a portion of the proceeds went towards Oceanic Global, so it was all good vibes in the air throughout the run. Having trained very lightly for the race, the slight inclines and changes in terrain threw us a bit, but overall, definitely one of the more enjoyable races we’ve ever done, especially knowing what was in store for us at the end! We gotta admit, the thought of cold beverages on the other side of that finish line truly did push us to run faster, and when we finally crossed it, all the breweries were waiting to sample out our hard-earned rewards.

We tried something from every brewer, but our standouts in the beer realm were Brooklyn Brewery Defender IPA and Sixpoint Sweet Action IPA, from two classic Brooklyn based breweries. Alternatives to beer were available too, such as Kombrewcha, Spiked Seltzer (we loved the grapefruit flavor), and Citizen Cider, whose Wit’s Up was a standout, a dry, ale-style cider hailing from Vermont.

Besides beer, there was also live music, a DJ, mini-golf, cornhole, food trucks featuring Bareburger and Gorilla Cheese NYC, and a great grassy area to sprawl out upon and drink all those calories that we burned right back into our systems. Running really is better with beer at the finish line (especially if it’s unlimited!), and we think this event could be a gateway to more running for us (and obviously, more beer).

For more photos, click here, and keep an eye out for more info on next year’s run.