The 3rd Annual Beer Run was a whopping success. I even ran 99% of the 5-mile course despite figuring I'd take the point-A-to-point-B-back-to-point-A 5k course. Yep, I earned that post run beer. "Only one post run beer?" you ask. Well that speaks to what a rousing success it was, if I may put a li'l spin on it. The organizers, Ramblings of a Beer Runner's Derrick Peterman and The Brew Lounge's Bryan Kolesar, and myself, exceeded our expectations by drawing roughly 125 fellow beer runners. Despite its growing attraction, we hope to keep it casual (permit-free and not a logistical nightmare). Gotta love SFPD for having a cop on the force who, upon seeing the throng bolting down 9th Avenue and toward Golden Gate Park--some of whom donned costumes this year!!!--shouted, "Hey, where's the keg?!"
I'd planned on stopping at the "midway point," Magnolia Brewpub, for a light Kolsch this year, but even I didn't have the patience to wait in the line some 50-deep that our clique had created! I recall effortlessly ordering one of their Strong Beer Month offerings last year as one of maybe 8 people who'd stopped for a beer. This time, we caught Magnolia so off guard, they corralled the runners in an impromptu beergarden and have pledged to come up with a solution for the 4th Annual.
Sure hope Social Brewery steps up, too. Despite ample forewarning from Derrick to brewmaster Rich Higgins, management did not suitably provide sufficient staff (read: the same lone bartender as last year, who earned much respect for his hard work). This is probably the #1 reason Higgins has resigned his post. Still, the large crowd was perfectly friendly, fun, festive, and fermented by early afternoon. Thanks to the gregarious beer runners--many of whom aren't actual beer geeks and made this their only SF Beer Week event, we were told--as well as many generous sponsors who donated beer and running prizes for a new element added to the Beer Run, a fundraising raffle that raised hundreds of dollars for Autism Speaks and the Contra Costa Food Bank (the late Bill Brand's preferred local nonprofit).
Following this list of companies that donated prizes, check out some of the great photos from the event.
Widmer Bros (PDX)
Philadelphia Brewing (Philly)
Dock Street (Philly)
Sly Fox (Philly area)
Iron Hill (Del., PA, NJ)
Victory (Philly area)
On the Run Shoes (SF, next to Social)
and of course Social Brewery & Kitchen