We Love Drinks: The 1K Beer Walk

Photo courtesy of jcm_DC
courtesy of jcm_DC

If you’ve ever wanted to run a marathon but worry about whether your beer gut will slow you down, Washington Wine Academy‘s DC School of Beer has a perfect solution: the Beer Walk!

The beer walk took place last Saturday and Sunday – a week after the wine walk – in the underground maze of the Crystal City Shops. Both “Beer Walk” and “Wine Walk” are pretty self-explanatory.

After you sign in and show ID, you pick up your race number, t-shirt, glass, and drink tickets. With twenty tickets and generous pours, a $20-$35 ticket (depending on the day/time of the heat you sign up for) will get you feeling pretty good – especially if it’s only 2pm when you start, like it was for me.

Volunteers stand at stations all over the mall ready to pour you anything from Duvel to Sam Adams. Some local and nearby breweries sent their own reps – like Port City, which had a station all to itself and a crowded room of eager fans. Others hoped the free food at their stations – provided by Authentic Memphis Barbeque in Crystal City, Cabot cheese, and The Perfect Pita – would gather crowds to them.

Photo courtesy of jcm_DC
courtesy of jcm_DC

(On a side note, did you know people who are lactose intolerant can eat cheddar cheese? I didn’t. Thanks, Cabot!)

Personally, I enjoyed Station Four the most. There I met some other Memphians (the owners of Authentic Memphis Barbeque, of course), tried their pulled pork (not bad), and drank Ommegang and Duvel.

Sadly I missed Synetic Theater‘s mini-performances, which took place at Station Six in their lobby every 30 minutes. Hopefully next year they’ll bring that element back (and advertise it better), because a free Synetic performance is another big perk.

If you aren’t familiar with the Crystal City Shops the beer walk makes for a good intro, although the route can get a little confusing. The whole event must help area businesses: by about Station Eight I was deciding whether to buy a marionette puppet from Puppet Heaven or a whale-shaped snuggle pillow from Rite Aid. Plus I left with a plethora of coupons, gift cards, and freebies from shop owners.

Photo courtesy of jcm_DC
Academy faithful
courtesy of jcm_DC

I wish I could tell you more about Station Ten, the last station of the walk and the one containing the most beers (well, “beers,” since it included Pabst and Old Milwaukee). But I don’t really remember Station Ten all that well… I remember really, really, really liking the Leinenkugel Berry Weiss, and then I remember drunk dialing my husband.

Point is, come down to Crystal City next year and try your hand at walking with either wine or beer to slow you down. And just like with any big race, bring some friends to keep you motivated, drink plenty of water, and eat some carbs beforehand.

Joanna moved to DC in 2010 knowing she’d love it, and as usual she was right. She enjoys eating fried things, drinking scotch and smoking cigars, and makes up for the damage done by snacking on organic oats and barley and walking long distances to wherever with her dog Henry. Joanna now lives with her husband and said dog in Los Angeles, and they all miss DC terribly. Follow her on Twitter or contact her at joannacastlemiller.com.

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4 thoughts on “We Love Drinks: The 1K Beer Walk

  1. Can you guys start putting up posts about these kinds of events and concerts before they occur instead of just doing writing ups after-the-fact? Sometimes you write about a concert, for example, that sounds completely amazing, and I had no idea it was happening ahead of time. Thanks!

  2. Pingback: #DMVReads: Gingrich and DC statehood; local taxi riders unhappy | My Blog