Live… from the Brewery… It’s Marathon Tuesday!
Since last week, spirits here at the brewery have enjoyed quite the lift from the scores of Boston Marathon runners who have stopped in for tours. Pre-race attitudes were hopeful and confident, but after surviving Monday’s scorcher, our guests’ emotions were downright exuberant. Free beer has a funny way of doing that to people.
“Marathon Tuesday” (as we dubbed it) raced into the brewery with a flurry of excitement as we squeezed in two early tours before the day’s usual starting time of 10 a.m. (Fair warning: there will be plenty more bad running puns to come.) To salute our visitors, we arranged special tours for marathoners and their cheering sections to check out the brewery, pick up a commemorative 26.2 ounce (naturally) mug and, most importantly, share some Boston 26.2 Brew.
Considering the race day’s nearly 90-degree heat, it would be understandable to find surly, exhausted runners on Tuesday, but our guests of honor were just the opposite. Their infectious energy was inspiring, given that less than 24 hours before visiting they had pounded out 26.2 miles in record high heat. They even smiled when discussing the events of the previous day.
“It was rough,” said Christie, a Chicagoan, as she collected her mug and grinned ear to ear. “It was tough to get through that course on a hot day.”
Christie named the three biggest challenges of her first Boston Marathon as the oppressive heat, the punishing hills and the cold she’s been battling. We’d like to think that the sample of Boston 26.6 Brew was boosting Christie’s mood, but it seems everything about her trip to Boston was making her smile.
“The spectators on the course were fantastic,” she said.
Also getting high marks from Christie: her 26.2 Brew mug, the tour, the tasting room, and her tour guide, Audrey.
Of the nine marathons he’s run, Ken of Morton, Ill., said this year’s Boston Marathon was by far the hardest.
“It was brutal,” he said.
When asked if he’d have appreciated a beer handed to him along the route, Ken said normally he’d love one – except for yesterday, when the temptation from a brew in the heat would likely have lured him away from the task at hand.
“Yesterday, I would have just stopped and said, ‘I’m going to party with you,’” he said with a laugh and I made a mental note to offer beers to any of-age runners in need during subsequent marathons. A year-plus spent conducting brewery tours and tastings has taught me that the girl who gives people beer is usually the most popular girl around.
To demonstrate just how tough these runners were, the Boston Athletic Association offered deferrals to any would-be marathoners who would rather run next year than deal with this year’s heat wave. These guys and gals powered through and still came out the next day for some brews. Frankly, after running 26.2 miles, I’d have declared the next day Official Wallow in Smugness and Eat Ice Cream Day, but this lowly brewery ambassador also hasn’t endeavored to run more than two miles since the days of high school track practice.
For any runners looking to relive their marathon between now and next Patriots’ Day, the limited edition 26.2 Brew mugs feature the course route and elevation so they can drink their way from Hopkinton to Boston. Handing these hefty mugs to the incredible athletes who have come to visit us has been quite humbling. It has been an honor to teach them about beer, just as it was inspiring to watch them charge down Beacon Street on Monday.
What’s been just as exciting is all our brewery guests’ warm reception. Every toast to the marathoners has been met with a resounding “Cheers!” from the entire tasting room. While we’re all supremely proud of the runners, we’re most appreciative of the inspiration they’ve given our brewers to craft 26.2 Brew. I’ll spend part of the off-season pondering lacing up my sneakers, but until then I’m back in the brewery for a potential Marathon Thursday today!