IF YOU GO
What: Savannah Craft Brew Races
When: 12:30-4 p.m. March 12
Where: Savannah International Trade & Convention Center
Cost: $55 in advance or $65 on race day; brew fest only is $45-$55; 21 and older
Few things are more relaxing than hanging out with friends on the weekend, eating good food and having a few cold ones.
The Craft Brew Races on March 12 will add an exciting element to the mix with a 5K run followed by an epic beer fest.
The event is basically a road race followed by a beer festival, said Brian Hodge, director of communications at Gray Matter Marketing, which organizes the event.
“It starts with a fun 5K (3.1 miles) run or walk and each participant receives a cool finisher’s medal as they cross the finish line,” he said. “The medal even doubles as a bottle opener.”
After the race, the beer tasting begins.
“Attendees head into a full-blown craft beer festival, featuring upwards of 20 American craft breweries,” Hodge said. “We focus on local and up-and-coming breweries, so it’s a great way to get a taste of the local beer scene in one swoop. After three hours of sampling at the beer fest, each guest goes home with a pint glass as a souvenir. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon.”
Hodge said his New England-based company kept seeing the same people show up at their separate races and beer fests and decided to combine the two.
“We decided to take the best elements of both our events and turn them into one fun day,” he said. “It has just grown from there.”
Fortunately, you do not have to be a runner to join in the fun.
“We have some talented runners who want to notch personal best times, and we also have athletes that are new to running,” Hodge said. “Many of our 5K participants just want to stretch their legs and work up a sweat before enjoying some beer. It’s all in good fun.”
Hodge said the Craft Brew Races combine events to offer something more for attendees than what they may expect.
“Some races give you one little beer at the end,” he said. “And not too many beer festivals include running. Our event is the best of both worlds, a real 5K followed by a real craft beer festival. Not just one beer, and not just a few samples and buy more tickets, but three-plus hours of sampling high-quality, American-made craft beer.”
And the festival will feature more than just beer, he added.
“We have live music from Savannah’s own The Wave Slaves, food for sale — and don’t skip our merchandise tent with fun T-shirts and socks,” Hodge said. “Oh, and don’t leave without your souvenir pint glass!”
Hodge said he loves to travel and experience new destinations through these events.
“A great way to do this is to dive in headfirst into the local food and drink scene, which Savannah has in spades,” he said. “It’s a great fit for us.”