Well, they’re all things people might consider a treat well-earned after a hard workout or a good run. Here in Boulder, though, we love our beer, and a crisp, tasty craft beer is the ultimate post-competition reward that many of us more commonly crave.
Luckily for Boulderites, Shoes & Brews in Longmont has combined these two Boulder passions, athletic activity and bold local brews, into a one-stop shop for shoe-shopping and beer tasting as well as in the form of consistent races and brew fests, such as the Longmont CollaBEERation 5k & Brew Fest happening this Saturday, April 11th, in partnership with the Left Hand Brewing Company.
Shoes & Brews opened in July of 2014 with the idea that running and drinking beer are both social experiences and events that, when brought together, could become an even more unique social experience. One part specialty running shoe store and one part taproom, Shoes & Brews offers both a large selection of running shoes to fit your needs and an ever-rotating line-up of Colorado craft beer selections in the store’s adjoining taproom. Shoes & Brews features beers on tap from Boulder, Longmont, and other Colorado breweries such as Fate Brewing Company, Boulder Beer, J. Wells Brewery, Upslope Brewing Company, Left Hand Brewing Company, and Breckenridge Brewery.
Along with consistently announcing new beers on tap and events on their Facebook and Twitter pages, Shoes & Brews is also a nanobrewery in and of itself. They offer shoe fittings along with a free pint of beer in their taproom with the purchase of a new pair of shoes. Shoes & Brews encourages socialization around their two focuses with frequent live local music as well as weekly Thursday night group runs and a Saturday morning running group, events for which they often include samples and demos from other running companies.
In addition to these recurring events, Shoes & Brews has partnered with Left Hand Brewing Company, a long-standing Longmont brewery well known for its multiple award-winning beers, such as their Milk Stout and Sawtooth Ale, for the CollaBEERation 5k & Brew Fest on Saturday, April 11th. The run begins at Left Hand Brewing and ends at Shoes & Brews with an expo, music, giveaways, food, and, of course, beer.
This is the second time that these two companies have partnered for this event, and part of the proceeds will benefit the Left Hand Brewing Foundation, which is focused on supporting and enhancing the Longmont community. Free shuttles will run between the two locations after the race, and all participants will receive a customized water bottle, unlimited samplings of beers during the brew fest, discounts in the Shoes & Brews store, and the enjoyment of spending the day running along the St. Vrain Creek and mingling with like-minded individuals looking to work hard in order to be able to enjoy playing hard afterward. If that wasn’t incentive enough, the top male and female finishers of the 5k overall will each receive their weight in beer of a brew of their choice (one keg’s worth) from Left Hand Brewing.
You can register for the April 11th CollaBEERation 5k & Brew Fest either in-store at Shoes & Brews or online. The race itself begins at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, and there is parking available at and around the Left Hand Brewery. This race is a great opportunity to network and compete with fellow athletes and beer-lovers in the area who enjoy the exhilaration of sport, the glow of a healthy lifestyle, the feeling after a great run, and the reward that comes at the finish line.