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What I’m drinking

CATEGORIES: Beer Editor   Beer Runner  

 As of today, I’m on day 625 of my run/beer streak, I ran a mile on the track in 5:01 tonight and biked 30 miles in 95 degree heat, and I’m approaching 2,000 combined bike and running miles for the year.

I think I’ve earned a few beers. Here’s what I’ve been drinking.

On Saturday my wife and daughter and I attended the Wisconsin Beer Lovers Festival, sponsored by DRAFT.  One of my favorite things about this festival (other than it being within stumbling distance from my house) is that it pairs beer from within the state with fresh food.

And so I found myself experiencing beers I’m used to in a new way when I paired a New Glarus Brewery beer with a hunk of fresh steak or artisan cheese with beer from the Delafield Brewhaus.

Some of my favorites included the Black Iron IPA from Milwaukee Brewing Company, who continues to impress me with their new line. The Great Dane’s Mid-Westvleteren Dark Strong Ale and the Vintage Brewing Company’s McLovin also easily made my top three.

Great Dane Strong Ale

I also make sure to get anything and everything I can from the South Shore Brewery from way up north in Ashland and Green Bay’s Titletown, both of which I can’t get in stores around Milwaukee.

Easily the most memorable beer at the festival came from Woodman, which created such concoctions as jalapeno beer or bubble gum porter. You’re not quite sure what to make of them, but you have to respect the brewer for trying something crazy and producing adventurous results.

I wasn’t done drinking yet. On Saturday night I surprised my wife, who turned 30, with a trip to Three Cellars with friends. We sat on the patio all night while trying different beers on tap and from their vast bottle selection.

I started off with a Rodenbach Grand Cru by Brouwerij Rodenbach, which is a great sipping beer and perfect for conversation with friends. I followed that up with a Birch Bock by Alaskan Brewing Co., and my palate appreciated the change of pace with something smooth, rich and slightly sweet.

Tallgrass 8 Bit

On a daily basis, I can’t seem to get away from the tallboys like 8-Bit Pale Ale by Tallgrass Brewing Company and Golden Wing Blonde Ale by Finch’s Beer Co. I guess if drinking great beer in a can and being a hipster is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

One final note. We’ve been experiencing a bit of a heat wave, and during that time I’ve indulged in some fruit beers. Specifically, I had the  Kinda Blue Blueberry Wheat Beer by Boulder Beer Company (CO) and Strawberry Harvest Lager by Abita Brewing Company. And I liked them both.

Fruit beer can get a bad rap because some breweries have screwed them up so bad. But in the hands of a skilled craft brewer, the right balance and hint of fruit can really add the right touch to a summer beer.

Besides, as Runner’s World recently noted, both blueberries and beer have nutritional benefits for runners. So why not combine the two?


Tim Cigelske is DRAFT's Beer Runner. (Beer Run•ner [noun]: Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle. Ex. "John downed four microbrews at the triathlon finish line. He's a total beer runner.”) Follow Tim on Twitter @TheBeerRunner, and email him at beerrunner [at] draftmag.com.


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