Beer and running have finally found a happy medium through a growing social trend: pub runs. Throughout Southern California, more and more running groups are meeting in the vicinity of local breweries to run a few miles before mingling over beers.
The point of the pub runs is not to become a stronger or faster runner — although one certainly can reap these benefits as well — but to have a place where one can socialize over beer. Ultra marathoner Justin Flores, 30, of Anaheim said he joined the O.C. Craft Runners for the sake of being a part of a community that has his same interests.
“Pub runs are unique in that they allow you to connect with runners of all levels instead of just fast guys with fast guys, and back of the pack with back of the pack,” said Flores, “It allows you to swap stories across categories, and it gives it a vibe of not just being a team or club, but also buddies.”
You don’t have to be a runner to partake in these fun meet-ups — most of the clubs welcome all paces and some even encourage dogs and strollers. The following SoCal-based running groups host pub runs regularly.
Dog Haus Running Club and Pitfire Pizza Running Club: Dog Haus Running Club in both Pasadena and Long Beach and Pitfire Pizza Running Club in Hollywood are a part of a network of 21 social running clubs in the national non-profit organization Fitness Fun and Philanthropy (FFP) Running Clubs, which hosts weekly fun runs and promotes healthy living and fitness while raising money for local charities. The running clubs are completely free to join; just show up and a volunteer will help register new participants.
The 5k fun runs always start and end at the host bar, followed by happy hour afterwards. Along with the weekly runs, the clubs organize and host unique fundraising events throughout the year to raise money and awareness for well deserving charities within their communities.
“The inspiration behind these clubs is to create a stronger culture of fitness, fun, and philanthropy in each respective local community,” said Kim Kouwabunpat, FFP Running Clubs regional director. “We want to make fitness a fun part of everyone’s weekly routines while also giving back to the community in meaningful ways.”
6:15 p.m. every Tuesday; Dog Haus Biergarten, 93 E. Green St., Pasadena
6:15 p.m. every Wednesday; Dog Haus Biergarten, 210 E. 3rd St., Long Beach
6:15 p.m. every Monday; Pitfire Pizza, 5211 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood
Fleet Feet Pub Run: For over five years, the Fleet Feet Sports’ pub run group has met every Wednesday evening at the Burbank store to run three to five miles out and back to the shop, then head to the local pub Tony’s Darts Away for a beer. All paces are welcome, and you can bring your stroller or dog too. The pub runs are completely free to join.
“At its core, the pub run came about because we wanted a way to bring our running community together; not only as runners, but as friends,” said Leslie Valencia, Fleet Feet Sports marketing manager, “The friendships formed over the last five years have led to a diverse and entertaining group.”
6:30 p.m. every Wednesday; Fleet Feet Sports, 1516 W Magnolia Blvd., Burbank
Mikkeller Running Club: The Mikkeller Running Club offers several days throughout the month to go for a run then hydrate — or at least refresh yourself — with a beer or two. On a weekly basis, the group meets every Monday night in downtown Los Angeles for a few miles (runs vary) and invites all paces. The group also meets the first and third Saturday of every month for morning runs around different Los Angeles-based breweries.
“The main inspirations for Mikkeller Running Club are to promote healthy living, camaraderie, and the enjoyment of good food and beer,” said Jeffrey Prosser, Mikkeller Running Club director.
9 a.m. first Saturday of every month; Mikkeller DTLA, 330 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles
10 a.m. third Saturday of every month; Barbara’s At The Brewery, 620 Moulton Ave., #110, Los Angeles
8 p.m. every Monday; Mikkeller DTLA, 330 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles
Orange County/Los Angeles
A Snail’s Pace: Since the late 1970s, the running store A Snail’s Pace has grown from a small Fountain Valley-based running store to having four chapters with running clubs in Mission Viejo, Brea, Monrovia and Fountain Valley. The members meet at the stores and other locations to go on weekly fun runs and monthly pub runs, which are sponsored by various shoe vendors so runners can try out shoes on two to three mile runs. The pub runs are held in the months of April through September on the third Thursday of every month, and the first 50 members to arrive get a free cold brew and pint glass.
“Our club consists of runners of all abilities, ages and pace. We’re a community of runners who share our common love for running, regardless of how quick or slow you are, or if you’re into ultra-marathons or track and field,” said run club director Bob Morris.
5 p.m. Brea Chapter: every third Thursday of every month, April through September; 1160 E. Imperial Highway, Brea
5 p.m. Fountain Valley Chapter: every third Thursday of every month, April through September; 11095 Warner Ave., Fountain Valley
5 p.m. Mission Viejo Chapter: every third Thursday of every month, April through September; 24451 Alicia Parkway, Mission Viejo
5 p.m. Monrovia Chapter: every third Thursday of every month, April through September; 750 S. Myrtle Ave., Monrovia
Funning Running: The Funning Running group’s name says it all — this club has a monthly meet-up at the Irvine Spectrum and the Americana at Brand in Glendale for the sole purpose of runners having fun together by jogging a few miles and ending with a happy hour. The free group started in June 2016 as a “run and social.” The group meets fairly late for a weekday, which may be convenient for runners who work late or have to commute.
“We want people to know is that everyone is welcomed; we will always run regardless of the weather, and the ultimate goal is to get people out to exercise and socialize,” said Funning Running director Sal Hernandez, “We are building a community, come run with us.”
8:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month; Irvine Spectrum, 670 Spectrum Center Drive, Irvine
8:30 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of every month; 889 Americana Way #330, Glendale
O.C. Craft Runners: The O.C. Craft Beer Runners group, created in 2015 in the city of Orange and embraces the motto “We P.R. on I.P.A.,” meet in a variety of locations throughout Orange County to run two to five miles around a brewery and cool off with a couple of craft beers. The free-to-join group also started a Los Angeles chapter, following the same purpose of uniting runners and craft beer lovers to mingle once a week. The group believes in supporting local breweries, and the O.C. chapter even recently brewed their own beer, the “Extra Mile IPA” at a local brewery.
“Through a shared passion for running and craft beer we have managed to create a community where athletes at any level can feel welcomed, encouraged and supported. You can’t come to one of our pub runs and leave without making some new friends,” said founder John Hale, “The success of OC Craft Runners has always been a direct result of the goodness, kindness and enthusiasm of our members.”
7 p.m. every Monday; Orange County chapter; various locations — posted at: facebook.com/occraftrunners
7 p.m. every Tuesday; Los Angeles chapter; various brewery locations — posted at: facebook.com/la.craft.runner
The Inland Empire Running Club: The members regularly meet at The Pub in Chino Hills for a fun run around the surrounding area of the restaurant, ending with social drinks. The group also participates with “beer miles” every so often, in which runners, walkers or crawlers complete one mile, while drinking a beer every quarter of a mile down the course.
“In our membership of about 500, we have all types of people in our club. All ages, ability levels, carrier types, it doesn’t seem to matter, they have just found they like running and socializing together,” said Scott Applegate, executive director of the Inland Empire Running Club, “With such a large cross section of people it’s really surprising who shows up for these more wacky events.”
The I.E. Running Club meets up for pub runs throughout the month; check the club’s website for the schedule: ierunningclub.com