PHILADELPHIA, October 23, 2012 – If you haven’t heard of a “beer runner”, you wouldn’t being surprising many. It’s a loosely-defined term, with no definite rubric to go by. If you are a regular runner, and also maintain an awareness of craft beer in or around your community, then you just might be a beer runner.
To say that there is a written history of beer runners wouldn’t exactly be true, mostly because it is a newer community.
There is however a correlation between both the rise of the craft beer industry and this enticing practice.
Most might tend to fall victim towards immediate assumptions when they hear the term “beer runner” - it’s obviously just some sort of ambiguously stylized play on words. There’s no way an avid runner would dare to also be one who imbibes, right?
It is an arduous presupposition to break away from, and the fact that the term is somewhat in its infancy doesn’t really help.
So then, all you have to realize is that a beer runner is exactly what it sounds like, but then again, perhaps it isn’t that elementary. It’s both the independent celebration of a mobilized lifestyle, and an adhesive community of like-minded thinkers, drinkers and athletes.
It is the belief in a lifestyle that constitutes a keen awareness of the physical well-being of one’s body, while also appreciating the Earthly nectar that has provided centuries of personal cheer and social mobility.
The beer runner attempts to break the decades-long stereotype of the typical American beer drinker’s activities – whether that take place in the stadium parking lot or at the barbecue in the backyard. Many realize that it isn’t so black and white anymore.
Before the explosion of the craft beer scene just a few years ago, there was a sort of unspoken inferiority of the beer drinker as compared to that of the wine imbiber.
Due to the questionable quality of many macro American beers, the lack of character in the beer signified a lack of character in the person. Luckily this painful social tattoo on the arms of many beer drinkers have been removed thanks to the more proactive culture that has sprouted since the craft revolution.
Beer runners have been growing in noticeable quantities from the homebrewer down the street to the brewery who is hosting an event.
Certainly one of the ideal models of a beer runner would be Win Bassett, Social Media and Beer Education at All About Beer magazine and Executive Director of the North Carolina Brewers Guild. Bassett is known for his running perhaps just as much as his persistent and successful efforts in promulgating craft beer in the state of North Carolina. He recently completed the Tuna Run 200, a relay race that runs from Raleigh to Atlantic Beach.
“The beer runner concept comes down to lifestyle choices, and when you take a closer look at this way of life, it isn’t that surprising. Those who enjoy quality craft beer are often the same who enjoy the outdoors and generally leading an active life.”
The mindset of Bassett could easily be shared with that of an ample selection of craft breweries. From Smuttynose Brewing Company’s Rockfest Race in New Hampshire to the Dogfish Dash from Dogfish Head in Delaware, brewing companies make it a point to encourage this active life in their consumers.
It’s important not to separate a beer runner from any other runner – the sensational activity provides the same benefits for any participant. The “beer” in “beer runner” is a communal vehicle and a breaker of socialized assumptions, but runners will always been runners. Bassett further explains,
“These people would still run regardless of whether they enjoy beer. Fortunately, they happen to have good taste too, and it’s this taste and active lifestyle that are celebrated by this thriving community.”
Mike Lamardo is a twenty-three year old beer blogger for the Washington Times Communities, and is also an active participant in the growing beer scene in the Triangle region of North Carolina. He has also written on craft beer and marketing for The Five Stir, and also provides content on modern home technologies for Safe From The Start. If you are in the Triangle, get at Mike on Twitter @MikeLamardo for a pint. Cheers.
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