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After Party: The Shore Craft Beer Festival

After the Seaside 10 Miler I hung around the finish line chatting with Nate and some other runners I knew. That’s what runners do, after all. We talk about running. Running brings people together from all different backgrounds and all ages. I came across four women running the 5K on Saturday, all wearing orange shirts and gray wigs. They didn’t need the wigs to pretend to be on the older side, though, as they were each in their 70s. “Have you ever run the Annapolis 10 miler?” one Grandma (that was the name on the back of their shirts) asked me. I shook my head. “We started that one ages ago,” she said. “I can’t run that far anymore,” she said.

There were Ghostbuster costumes and superhero costumes: a few Flashes and many Wonder Women and Super Girls. One couple was dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Incredible complete with painted on eye masks.

It’s all about the beer

The best part about the after party, though, wasn’t the costumes (though they were good). It was the beer. The EVO Pils was a good start to the post-run celebration, but when that was all said and done I took a walk over to Sunset Park to sample a wide variety of beers from brewers all over the Eastern Shore at the Shore Craft Beer Festival.

Running for me is in part about the food. I run because I enjoy it, and because it keeps me in shape so that I can eat and drink without worrying much about what I’m eating and drinking. I make sure my food is local and minimally processed, and we cook almost every meal we eat at my house. I buy vegetables from local farmers when I can, and have started to get my meat from local processors as well. This desire for local food extends to beer as well, and for local beer the Delmarva Peninsula is an oasis.

The Shore Craft Beer Festival brought together brewers and breweries from as far away as Dover and as close as Ocean City itself to show off their classic concoctions and brawniest brews. Along with some other writer friends, and an acquaintance from Salisbury, I stood behind the cooler that held Fordham and Old Dominion’s Double D IPA and Grapefruit Pale Ale performing my first service as a bartender.

Here’s something I learned. Pouring a beer is harder than you think. Generally if you want to pour a small amount of something you slow down the pour. But when you pour a beer from a tap, slowing the pour only produces more foam than beer. It took a few glasses of foam for me to figure that out.

The GPA was smooth and easy to drink with only a hint of citrus. We sold it as a breakfast beer, a great start to the day. I also had the chance to sample the Honeysuckle Rose from Blue Earl Brewing in Smyrna. Another smooth beer with an even finish that didn’t make my lips pucker.

People spent the last afternoon dancing after many of them had spent the early morning running.

I kept my medal on thinking it might generate some conversation, though running wise it only helped once when I saw a couple not with medals but dressed in running gear. “Did you run the race this morning?” I asked.

They had come down from New Jersey, they said, to run the race and to sample some beer. Which is a great combination. The woman was wearing a NYC Marathon hat from 2010. I have run that storied race five times (2010 was the last year I ran it), and so I asked if she was running next week.

“Oh yes,” she said.

Her husband said, “It’ll be my first time at a full marathon.”

We talked for a while about running in general and about the New York City marathon. “It’s one big party,” she said, and I agreed.

Though for me these days I can’t beat a smaller event like the Seaside 10 Miler. After which I can walk across the street and sample some truly fine local beers, combining all the things I love about running: community, friends, and beer.

Jeffrey Smith
Jeffrey Smithhttp://www.rustlingreed.com/blog
Jeffrey Smith started writing at fourteen on a Smith-Corona electric typewriter he borrowed from his father. His most recent book, Mesabi Pioneers, tells the story of the immigrants who turned a remote area of northern Minnesota into America's greatest source of iron ore. Jeffrey lives in Berlin with his wife, daughter, and three cats. He can often be seen running along the streets, boardwalks, and trails of the Lower Eastern Shore. That's probably him there, in the orange.

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