New York City isn’t typically known for its great beers—more often, people think of Sex and the City-style goofy cocktails, or serious businessman-style hard liquor. But NYC and the surrounding areas are actually home to some great breweries as well.
And while we’re not suggesting a full-out run to all of them at once, planning a run to a great pub for a pint and then finishing the run either on foot or by hopping on the subway to get home is a great way to enjoy the fall in NYC. If you really love booze and hitting the pavement, you’re in luck: there are plenty of fellow NYC runners who are more than happy to have a drink with you!
Check out this running guide to NYC breweries for insider knowledge to the perfect run and pint pairings.
There’s nothing more New York than Brooklyn Brewery. Located in Williamsburg, you can plan a long run from Manhattan over the Williamsburg Bridge and into downtown hipster W-burg, do a beer sampling and then head back along the waterfront through Brooklyn Bridge Park before heading back into Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge. Simple, fun and a great spot to meet up with fellow runners, since you can combine the beer tasting with plenty of awesome brunch options. (And for the nerds out there, it’s the official beer of Comic Con. So make like the Flash and get running.)
- Run: The Brooklyn Bridge
- Drink: Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale. We can’t write about fall runs and beer without a pumpkin ale making it onto the list. And with ‘road’ in the name, it’s perfect for runners. Actual pumpkins and nutmeg went into the brew, so you know it’s going to be good. Light, and the most perfect fall beer you could pick—perfect for a long day of running!
Check out the Taproom at SingleCut Beersmith’s in Queens for great beer and great bar food. This is best done after a long run, since the wings are worth ordering, and you might need to have a couple pints to wash it down (don’t worry, it’s right near a subway station). Consider a tour of the Islands of NYC , or at least Randall’s Island, before heading into Queens for a beer. But if you’re a mountain biker, Cunningham Park is one of the best spots to ride and pretty close by as well.
- Run: Randall’s Island Park
- Drink: Olympic White Lagrrr: this citrusy beer from SingleCut is sharp, floral and a great way to end a run: especially if you have Olympic aspirations (or just pretend you do for your sprint workouts).
For a beach run, no matter the time of year, Rockaway is a NYC favorite. It’s near the city, and just a short ride on the A train away. With a boardwalk and some nicer neighborhood roads (plus the Jamaica Bay Greenway), you can run the road in peace, or—especially in the fall when summer beachgoers are gone—a quiet run on the sand next to the water can make you forget where you are. And when you’re done, since this is a run best accessed via subway, treat yourself to a beer at Rockaway Brewing before you ride home.
- Run: On the beach at Rockaway, of course!
- Drink: Black Gold Stout. Served on their Nitro tap, this dark stout has a creamy finish that’s almost like having a beer combined with a milkshake. And who doesn’t want to end a run like that?
Other Half Brewing Company
If you want an excuse to head to Prospect Park for a run, or to Brooklyn for a beer (whichever motivates you more), make a plan to end at Other Half Brewing Company. The small brewery is pretty new—founded in 2014 by Samuel Richardson and Matt Monahan—so you can be the cool guy bringing your buddies to a new hot spot. The brewery is located on the edge of Carroll Gardens, and the taproom is open for your tasting pleasure. Get your friends together for a run where you end at the brewery and call ahead to schedule a tour—and sit down for a beer, of course.
- Run: Prospect Park
- Drink: If you love IPAs, the Other Half Brewing Company will capture your heart. Try any of their IPA options and you won’t be disappointed.
Two Roads Brewing
Two Roads Brewing is up in Stratford, Connecticut, but each summer, they run a Shore-to-Pour three-mile beach race by the brewery that ends with some seriously good beer tasting. But you can make the trip anytime—it’s 65 miles north of Manhattan, and if you love a good microbrew, this is worth taking the road trip. As long as you’re heading north, check out nearby Roosevelt Forest , a local favorite with great trails for running and singletrack that’s ready for mountain bikers. It’s outside of the city by enough that it’s not crazy on the weekends, and it’s a great place to watch the leaves change in the fall.
- Run: Roosevelt Forest Trails for some easy fire roads followed by wicked rock drops
- Drink: Two Roads Brewing Unorthodox Russian Imperial Stout. It’s not for the light beer lovers; it’s for those who crave a thick, nearly dessert-like beer. Hints of espresso and chocolate are in each sip, but it’s been Americanized to be a bit hoppier than your average Imperial.
You can use all of these brewery runs to prep for—you guessed it—The Brew Mile. The New York one takes place typically in Connecticut, and while dates for 2016 aren’t set yet , you can start your training now. The Brew Mile, as the name suggests, is four quarter mile laps where you have to drink one beer each lap. You can do it for fun or time, but good luck setting the record: the current record was recently set in Manitoba and the mile plus four beers were finished in just under 5 minutes—and for those of you who are wondering, he was drinking Bud Light Platinum. So, maybe take it slow and focus on the fun!