While I would never be considered a runner (or athlete or person who generally exercises), I do happen to love an organized 5K race. There’s just something about the group atmosphere, the excitement and anticipation amongst the crowd, and, obviously, the prize at the end. Usually, it is a medal, which is always a great participation reward, but I have found an even better prize: a free beer!

Recently, I was encouraged by my dear cousin to sign up with her for a 5K hosted by the Brewery Running Series, which organizes runs in several states at local breweries. This particular race was at Brown Iron Brewhouse in Washington Twp. I was excited for the opportunity to visit a new beer hall while spending time with my cousin.

On race day morning, we reported to Brown Iron Brewhouse and picked up our race t-shirt before the run. The Brewery Running Series had set up staggered start times so that no one would be crowding around each other and waiting to get started. Masks were also required for every interaction with a race organizer. It felt very safe and well thought out, and once our new shirts were stowed away, we got started the 5K. The course ambled around Washington and Shelby Twps., along the lovely Macomb Orchard Trail, and then circled back to the starting line in the Brown Iron parking lot. We did silly jumps through the finish line arch and then went back to the organizer tent to pick up our Michigan Brewery Running Series can glass to put our complimentary beer in on the patio.

Brown Iron Brewhouse’s patio is ideal for a summer day like it was on Saturday, August 15, when this 5K took place. It has picnic tables and umbrellas scattered around and felt like a little oasis on Van Dyke Ave. For my free beer, I chose Upland Brewing Co‘s Patio Cat (appropriate, no?). I chose the session summer ale with guava because I don’t see much guava beers around here. My cousin chose the Tangerine Wheat from River’s Edge Brewing Company. We toasted our running skills over these beers and plates of parmesan garlic fries and smoked barbecue burnt ends. We also admired our 11:30 am drinking skills. Honestly, the drinking skills far outweigh the running skills.

I was impressed by the vast tap list at Brown Iron, and I’d only wish I had more time to explore the options. The building itself was spacious, clean, and filled with friendly staff. I will definitely be making the trip back up there to poke around the menu some more. I am also planning on signing up for more races in the Michigan Brewery Running Series. The next one on my list is on Sunday, September 13 at Kuhnhenn’s Clinton Twp location — I’ll see you there!


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By Danielle Fracassa

Early late 30s (shh), married, 3 cats, 1 car, cheeseburger obsessed, New England IPA lover and world traveler. Co-head of the Detroit Chapter of Girls Pint Out, a national organization for women who love craft beer.

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