Dallas Breweries Tap Into Another Thirsty Market: Runners

Is there a better sight when in the middle of a 5K than a table filled with Velvet Hammer?
Kelly Dearmore
Is there a better sight when in the middle of a 5K than a table filled with Velvet Hammer?
Nearing the halfway point of last weekend’s Velvet Hammer 5K at the Peticolas brewery inside the Dallas Design District, I caught a glorious glimpse of volunteers holding out small white cups of water just up ahead of me. As intensely needed as those life-giving helpers were, their usefulness paled in comparison to another fellow manning that same station. That MVP was pulling cups of Golden Opportunity kolsch and even the race’s namesake imperial red ale and handing them to those of us needing a serious kick with our hydro relief.

Sitting next to dozens of water cups, the sight of the beer-filled cups gave a whole new meaning to the term “fun run.”

Of course, that mid-course taste was but a tiny preview to the imbibing that went down after the race when 2,000 runners exchanged their trio of beer tickets for one of Peticolas’ award-winners. Most 5K runs and marathons offer a beer or two to participants, but those are typically a generic macro-brew of some sort. In 2018, I ran in three different races, and two of them featured only Amstel Light, with the other slinging Miller Lite.

Look, a cold beer after a race is always a good thing, regardless of which one it is, but it’s important to be honest: A great beer is an even grander way to finish off a long run. Peticolas Brewing owner Michael Peticolas views the relationship between distance running and a fine ale or lager in a happily functional light.

“It's a natural fit and presents a new alcoholic drinking occasion exclusively for beer,” he says. “Think about it, no one ever finishes a run and thinks about pouring a nice Cabernet or replenishing with a martini. The cold refreshing nature of beer is a just reward for completing that run.”

On the second Saturday of each month, Peticolas hosts a social run at which, for $20, participants of all skill levels take part in an untimed three-mile run and receive a special pint glass, three beer samples and a hot breakfast. On the first Saturday of each month, for the same $20 cost, Rahr & Sons Brewing in Fort Worth hosts its own monthly social run, leading up to its annual Oktoberfest 5K in September.

But there’s another monthly event in Dallas that brings together runners and quality brews in a casual manner if you’d rather sleep in on Saturday mornings.

On the third Thursday of each month, the Dallas-based Pub Run Series offers a three-mile, untimed run that begins and ends at a bar or brewery. For May’s event, popular Uptown neighborhood joint High Fives will play host to the thirsty runners. For $10 advance or $15 on the day-of, first-time series attendees will take part in the run and have their first beer of the night paid for. Recent Pub Run Series drinking spots have included the Lake House Bar and Grill near White Rock Lake and Ferris Wheelers Barbecue in the Design District.

Along with these Dallas-located monthly events, there are many chances for you, regardless of whether you’re an elite money-winning triathlete or a beer-bellied weekend warrior (like this reporter), to see what all the fuss is about when it comes to revving yourself with a quality local craft beer after an exhausting race.

National Run Day at Martin House Brewery – Fort Worth

Old Town Brewhouse 5K – Lewisville

What’s on Tap 5K – Keller
Rahr & Sons Oktoberfest 5K – Fort Worth

Shannon Brewing Monster 5K – Keller