I always see a lot of lists like ‘Best Summer Microbrews’ or ‘Great Post-Run Beers’, yada yada. It great and all but most of the lists feature beers that are not available at your local brewpub here in West Central PA. So, as a public service for the local running community, every few weeks i will be going to a local establishment and selecting some of the great microbrews that you can actually drink tonight!
This blog entry is the first of a few posts on great post-run or post-race summer beers. The beers I selected are available at Champs Sports Bar in Altoona. These are all great, easy-drinking beers and are both refreshing and yet don’t skip on the taste. These beers are in no particular order.

Shiner Ruby Redbird – It reminds me drinking a gingery Fresca. Very bubbly with a lot of grapefruit with some lime at first then a pronounced ginger flavor at the backend/aftertaste. Even though you wouldn’t want to drink it during an ultramarathon to sooth your stomach, the ginger taste makes you feel like this is something you should be drinking after a hard run. To your health!

Rivertowne Hala Kahiki Pineapple Beer – This beer goes down a little too easy since it is almost like drinking juice and no alcohol taste. Not too sweet nor tart, you are immediately hit with pineapples, some lemongrass and other tropical fruits. When I was doing “research” for this blog, a female friend visited me at the bar and had two of these and loved it! This is a big deal since she is not particularly fond of beer.

Bells Two Hearted Ale – The Bells! The Bells! I love Bells Two Hearted Ale. I am an IPA man. I can’t get enough of them. But a heavy, hoppy IPA might not hit the spot after a long day on the trails. Bell’s Two Hearted Ale is probably the most refreshing, easy to drink IPA you will ever find. Don’t be scared off with the IPA classification. It is balanced perfectly with a lot of things for your taste buds to savor.

Anderson Valley Summer Solstice – Speaking of “a lot of things going on”, this cream ale to me has a taste of malt and caramel with an “X-flavor” that I can not place. Some say it has hints of nuts, strawberries, pine, even marmalade. This beer is on the borderline of my summer beer list. Its one the list because of its brilliant taste but it’s on the thick side and tastes better warm.

Dogfish Head Aprihop – Full disclosure: I did not drink an Aprihop during my research but you can never go wrong with any of the Dogfish beers. Like the name says, expect dried apricots but you will not expect that this is an IPA. It tastes more like a fruit beer. It is not very hoppy and you will actually taste some malt in it. Again, like a lot of the beers here, there is a lot more that just one flavor as it hits your palette. There’s is alot to savor but still it is smooth enough post run.

Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat – Normally this beer would not deserve to be on my list of favorites. First, why it shouldn’t be? Goose Island is now owned by brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev and I like to classify as a “crafty” beer. But having said that, it is the only summer wheat beer on Champs beer list (which is odd) and summer wheat beers I think is one of the best types of beers you could have with friends on your front porch step after a hot and muggy day on the trails.

Plans are tentative right now but I might consider writing another post at the end of July on post-race beers. There is a trail race near Indiana, PA coming up in a few weeks and a few friends and I are thinking about stopping at Breaker Boys in Colver near Ebensburg after the race. Until then, cheers!