Now that we’re getting into fall and the air is becoming cooler (ha!), it’s racing season around the Gulf Coast. Almost every weekend there is a 5K or 10K going on somewhere, providing opportunities to get outside in the fresh air, exercise and support a good cause. Most races have beer afterward, so you have a legitimate excuse to start drinking at 9 a.m. without looking like a raving alcoholic.
On Sept. 22, Serda Brewing and Fleet Feet Sports will combine their love of both running and beer. But instead of just beer after the race, there will be beer during the race as well, with the Beer Mile Mini at Serda Brewing on Government Street.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with a beer mile, it is a real thing, with sanctioned events. Official beer mile rules mandate that competitors must consume four 12-ounce beers, at least 5 percent alcohol by volume, while running four 400 meter laps. One beer must be consumed before each of the four laps; any participant who throws up is assessed a penalty lap (but not a penalty beer!).
The current beer mile record is held by a Canadian (of course), Corey Bellemore, of 4 minutes, 33 seconds. You can’t even drive that fast on the Bayway most weekends (and, of course, you shouldn’t after four beers anyway). Bellemore currently holds five of the world’s fastest beer mile times. Fortunately for the racers, he’s not expected to be in Mobile for the Beer Mile Mini.
The event at Serda Brewing will be a bit different, as it will not be held on a track, but with participants running a .75 mile course through downtown instead of the full mile, and having to consume four 8-ounce beers during the race instead of the full 12 ounces. Still, that’s 32 ounces of beer in less than a mile. Other than that, most rules apply — if you puke, you’re assessed a penalty lap.
The beer runners will have to down Serda’s Hook, Line and Lager, a light pilsner with some real nice flavor that is certainly a perfect post-run brew. We’ll see how well it holds up — or stays down — mid-run.
Anyone interested in running/drinking can sign up online for $15 through the Fleet Feet website (fleetfeetmobile.com). The event begins at 4 p.m. and participants will be grouped in heats with 10-15 other runners. All participants will receive a commemorative pint glass for their efforts (and probably a stomachache). Prizes for the winners will include growlers, gift cards and T-shirts.
The Beer Mile Mini is part of an all-day event at Serda Brewing to celebrate the tapping of its seasonal Oktoberfest brew, which John Serda describes as “a tawny golden Autumn lager with a medium-full body and a lingering malty sweetness,” made with “German Saphir hops and aromatic malts … for a delicate balance of festive session-ability.” Along with the keg tapping and beer run, there will also be a stein hoisting contest, a lederhosen and dirndl competition, schnitzel and brats to eat, and live music from Blue Eyed Bandit.
I’m not so sure it’s a great idea, but I’m already signed up and doing my training. Hope to see you there!