Joe Granat is the kind of guy who starts each morning with a healthy green smoothie—which he drinks out of one his beloved beer glasses.
That sums up the two sides of his personality.
Joe is the founder of a beer and running club in New Jersey, a big fan of stouts, and the writer behind HealthLush.com, a website that covers his combined passions of diet, exercise and craft beer.
He recently answered questions via email about his favorite races, his new career and his goals for 2016.
What are your beer runner qualifications?
My beer mile time isn’t too pretty, and we will just leave that alone. But, I have gone hashing on numerous occasions and that usually involves running while drinking beer. Besides writing about running and beer, I also work part-time for a craft brewery and a local running store. It’s really an odd combination but it seems to work. Running and drinking beer are two of my favorite things. (Next to my fiance and dog, of course).
What is HealthLush and how did it get started?
HealthLush is my baby. It’s a blog that I started in December of 2013 with my thoughts and drunken adventures. I try to live a fairly healthy lifestyle that includes a nutritional diet and regular exercise. I also enjoy drinking really good beer—which explains the “lush” part. Many people feel that they have to eat cardboard and wheat grass in order to live a healthy life. I wanted my readers to know that it’s possible to be healthy and enjoy the things you love at the same time.
What’s your favorite post-run beer?
An open one? I’m a total stout guy. But after a run, I’m looking for something a bit lighter and easier to drink. I also want the ABV to be on the lower side so I don’t need a pillow and a nap after my run. I have to say “Hopfish IPA” from Flying Fish Brewing Company is my favorite right now. It’s an English-style IPA so it’s pretty smooth and not as “hoppy” as the standard IPA we are used to.
What’s your favorite race?
I’ve run large events like the NYC Half Marathon and a few Rock & Roll races. Honestly, my favorite races are much smaller and held by a company called NJ Trail Series. Their Winter Series races take place on local trails in New Jersey. The post-race celebration is a great time. There are no medals or prize money—just fellow trail runners sharing beers and stories. To me, that’s what running is all about.
You recently wrote about pairing running shoes with beer. How well can you tell the difference between a shoe name and craft beer name?
I have to thank Athlinks for the opportunity to write on their new blog. It was my first post for their site so I wanted to come in with something to really knock their socks off. I think they were happy with it. Some of those beer names can be tricky. I took your quiz and scored a 4 out of 7 so I may need to start doing some research. I can start by opening a beer…
Are you a member of the River Horse Running Club? What does your club do?
I am! Not to blow my own horn, but I’m actually the creator of the River Horse Running Club. *blowing horn loudly* I started this earlier in the year at River Horse Brewing Company located in Ewing, NJ. The runs start and end at the brewery every two weeks. It’s a great way to get people out of the house for exercise, local beer, networking, socializing, etc. All paces are welcome and the runs are 2 and 4 miles long. Every meetup has new people who have either never been to the brewery before or don’t consider themselves “runners.” I love it because, those who would normally feel intimidated at a run club, are more comfortable with us. The beer aspect really helps break the ice.
What was your biggest accomplishments in 2015?
I took a leap of faith by leaving my corporate “9-5” job late in 2014. So 2015 was my first year as a freelance writer. I think making my first paycheck as a writer was quite the accomplishment. Unfortunately, it didn’t pay well so I spent that check on a six pack of beer. I also got back to running after breaking my foot in a non-running incident. I had to take about 5 months off and gain my strength and fitness all over again. The lesson to be learned here is don’t go brewery hopping in Virginia unless you are wearing comfortable shoes.
What are your goals for 2016?
I want to run another half marathon and break my personal record. I think it’s good to consistently test yourself and push further. I would also like to land a job in the field of writing and craft beer. Any breweries out there looking for a marketing guy?!
Anything else to add?
People can follow my shenanigans at www.HealthLush.com or email me at Joe@HealthLush.com.