In this article, we will look at the best beers for runners, different types of running, and a variety of uses for beer for runners.
There is nothing better after a long run than a cold beer. A staple at the finish line of many races, beer is the perfect way to celebrate the accomplishment of a race or just a great weekend run. Besides, who doesn’t love putting their feet up and enjoying a frosty brew on a warm day after a bit of exercise?
As we examine the best beers for runners, we’ll give you a host of options that fit any runner’s tastes for a delicious, cold brew.
Best Beers for Runners: A Brief Introduction to Beer and Running
Running has become a very social activity. There is a delightful intersection between running and enjoying a beer with a friend. Recently, the craft beer scene seems to have become intertwined with running and the running community.
There are beer runs and beer tents at the finish line of your local 5K, marathon, or ultra race, fuel tired runners with a craft beer. Because when you need to fuel up on calories before, during, or after your run, a delicious craft beer is a perfect way to quench your thirst.
As we looked at beers that are great for runners, we wanted to find a range of beer styles. We looked for both refreshing and thirst-quenching beers, along with those that offered some added nutrients to the mix. There are lots of beers out there, but we feel these are the best.
Best Beer for Runners: Pre-Race
Athletic Brewing Co’s Run Wild IPA (Calories:70, ABV: less than 0.5%).
Our pick for the best pre-race beer is a malty NA beer from Athletic Brewing Company. The Run Wild IPA is for the runner that wants a bit of beer before their race, but not the alcohol. Athletic Brewing’s Run Wild IPA may be non-alcoholic, but it doesn’t lack in flavor or that hoppy bitterness that you love in an IPA.
Best Beer for Summer Runners
Avery Brewing Pacer IPA (Calories: 100, ABV 4.5%)
A hop-forward, session IPA is the perfect beer for runners that just like to be outside in the summer. This beer has a great citrusy flavor and a bit of haze. Pacer IPA is dry-hopped for a fresh, fruity finish, making it a refreshing choice after a great summer run.
Best Beer for Mid-Run
Zelus’ Race Pace New England Ale (Calories: Not Listed, ABV 3.7%)
An exciting blend of IPA and English Mild Ale, Zelus’ Race Pace is an excellent beer for the runner that wants to refuel mid-race or run with a beer. This refreshing beer is hop-heavy but crisp and clean. And, for that mid-run refueling, especially at the turnaround point of a 50 miler, Race Pace boasts added electrolytes (potassium, sodium, and calcium) to boost your energy.
Best Beer for Gluten-Free Runners
Boulevard Brewing Easy Sport (Calories: 90, ABV:4.1%)
We love that there are great gluten-free beer options on the market today. Easy sport is a very light and refreshing blond ale brewed with tangerine and extra electrolytes. This beer has a tangy, slightly tart flavor and that subtly salty flavor. This beer is so tasty, you won’t even realize it’s gluten-free.
Best Beer for Ultra Distance Runners
Sufferfest Beer Co. Sufferfest FKT (Calories: 130, ABV: 5.1%)
For those deep in the Ultra Running community, you’ll know the acronym FKT as “Fastest Known Time.” This beer is a tribute to the runner that kills it on the run and wants to celebrate with a beer when they’re done. A pale ale, this beer is slightly tart and salty thanks to black currants and added sodium (for an electrolyte boost). In addition, Sufferfest FKT has a surprising 0.9g of protein to help muscles recover after miles of running.
Best Beer for Runners: Post-Race
Guinness Draught (Calories: 126, AVB 4%)
If you are looking for something a little more decadent post-race beer, then we’d like to recommend Guinness Draught. This classic Irish beer is creamy, flavorful, and has a surprising healthy boost. One of the great things about dark beers like Guinness is that they are full of antioxidant phenols, thanks to the dark-roasted malts. Antioxidants are great for recovery and a great addition to a healthy diet.
Best Beer for Runners: Recovery
Stride Brewing On Track Pale Lager (Calories: 33, ABV: 0.5%)
Another NA option for our list of best beers for runners, On Track Pale Lager is an excellent option for post-run recovery. This beer is isotonic, so it rehydrates your body quickly. On Track Pale Lager also has a boost of vitamins and polyphenols from hops to help reduce inflammation.