I'm really excited for our Virtual Craft Beer race next weekend. Those of you who know me *may* be all-too-aware that I'm a gin girl through and through. But, married to Mr Craft Beer himself, I've managed to find a few beers that I really enjoy and will certainly be sipping at least one of them at the finish-line of the virtual race.
1. Brick Brewery's Strawberry and Cucumber Sour
If I could only drink one beer for the rest of my days, Brick Brewery's Strawberry and Cucumber Sour would be it! It's light and fruity without being too sweet (I find lots of fruity beers are just too sweet). And the sour isn't overpowering! Plus, they're based just round the corner in Peckham Rye, and have been kind enough to partner up with us to donate the winner's prize for the race at the weekend. Unfortunately it's sold out at many retailers (it seems like the rest of the country agrees with me). I did find one seller who would deliver, but do check your local area. It's worth the effort to track down a crate - I promise!
2. Timmermans Raspberry Fruit Beer
Guess what? Mr Craft Beer and I make pretty regular trips to Belgium! And therefore I'd like to think I've tried a decent proportion of the different fruity Belgian beers available. Boon is probably the more well-known in the region and also very drinkable, but I find Timmermans a little lighter and less syrupy. They do loads of different flavours (peach, cherry, strawberry blackberry), but raspberry is my favourite. And the good news - it's readily available online, if you need to get some delivered in time for the race at the weekend.
3. Howling Hops - Tropical Deluxe Pale Ale
Back to London breweries, Howling Hops is a sampling stop on our Craft Beer Running Tour (when things get to back to normal). This Tropical Deluxe is a pale ale, so it tastes more beer-y that the other two options, but I really enjoyed its tropical taste. Howling Hops is the UK's first dedicated tank bar - so the beer is served straight from the tanks. Really fun and well worth a visit when it re-opens.
If you'd like any further advice on craft beer recommendations from me (the gin-lover) or Mr Craft Beer himself, please head over to the Secret London Runs Connect Facebook group.
At the Virtual Craft Beer Race on the 23rd and 24th May, you'll run 5k, 10k or a half marathon as fast as you can. Then you'll celebrate at the finish-line with a refreshing beer. There are 3 prizes for the best finisher's photo (you and your beer please) and bonus points if you visit a brewery along your run.
The two things that I love about these races are 1) The adrenaline you get from being part of a mass event which really spurs you to run faster; 2) Most of all I love the community - all of the runners taking part spurring each other on and making the best of not being able to hold actual events.
Although we're really disappointed that we can't offer our running tours at the moment, we believe that virtual races are genuinely the next-best-thing. So even if you're skeptical (we were to begin with!) then please do give it a try, if only for the beer at the end!