Trails and Beers: brewery based trail running in South Western Ontario

Human beings are walking contradictions. Why not lean into? The trail running community in South Western Ontario is showing up in surprising numbers to run trails and drink finely crafted alcoholic beverages.

Drinking alcohol post workout is an example of cognitive dissonance i.e. an oncologist smoking a cigarette after diagnosing someone with lung cancer. Celebrated endurance athletes Steve House and Scott Johnston have this to say about post workout bevies, “alcohol suppresses the immune system and may actually decrease muscle protein synthesis. For an athlete in training, one of the surest ways to get sick is to drink three or more alcoholic beverages” (Training for the new alpinism p.312).

Having said that, social interaction has been proven to significantly boost our immune systems and greatly increase our emotional health. Beer has always been the great social leveler. Needless to say, these runs aren’t designed to promote athletic gains, some may find brewery trail runs characteristic of a lengthy cool down. The purpose is building camaraderie in the outdoor sports community, facilitate introductions, and introduce people to this amazing sport.

Not unlike the beverages themselves, the ingredients of the brewery trail run come together to unify. So even if you’ve never trail run or run otherwise before, this is an excellent place to begin. And for you seasoned veterans of the sport–cover your ears new comers–this is a way to add a little fun into one of life’s most gruelling pursuits: endurance running.

Here is a list of trail runs that conclude with a craft brewery session. Drive safely but run with reckless abandon. #leaveitonthetrail

Sun seekers 

Who (brewery): Storm Stayed

What: 8km relaxed–no drop pace–trail run through The Coves.

Where: London, ON

When: Sundays at 12:00pm

Must try: Shook: Milkshake Kettle Sour with Blackberry, Blueberry, Raspberry, Black Raspberry, Apricot, Lactose + Vanilla

Putting in work

Who (brewery): Jobsite

What: 8km – 13km base building trail run around the T.J. Dolan natural area.

Where: Stratford, ON

When: Fridays, at 6:00pm

Must try: Apricot Peach Sour Splinter  

Caps off run club

Who (brewery): Caps Off Brewing 

What: 6km beginner trail/road run.

Where: St. Thomas, ON 

When: Thursdays at 6:30

Must try: TBD (too be drunk)

*A note on safety

Please drive responsibly. Arrange a ride or choose a designated driver. We are currently undergoing a lockdown (January 12, 2021). For the time being these running clubs are hibernating, but we hope to be up and running when the province allows.

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