With our tent setup we began the walk to Castle Danger Brewery. We hadn’t planned very well for our visit to Two Harbors, but we lucked out when my wife mentioned to a co-worker that we were visiting. Turns out his daughter lived seven blocks directly north of their taproom. A perfect place to sleep after taking part in our first Minnesota Brewery Running Series!
I’d seen the Brewery Running Series occasionally on my Facebook feed but when I looked on their website to choose an event to go to I was extremely surprised to find over thirty events throughout the year. After comparing availability with my wife it was clear that Castle Danger Brewery would be a match made in heaven. We’d visited before, we loved their beer, and we figured the run would take advantage of their beautiful location on Lake Superior.
We arrived to a sprinkling of people milling around the event tents and a taproom packed with patrons. A short while later we were checked in and our bibs attached and decorated with each participant’s take on “what rhyme’s with beer?” My juvenile take: Tap Traveler Was Here! We also entered our names into a raffle that would be held after the race.
We stretched our legs and milled around until we were called to the starting area to prepare for the race. Over a hundred people determined to run for their beer cheered and bounced before the race began and we were let loose. The course wound it’s way through the old downtown area of Two Harbors before joining Lakeview Park, winding our way past Agate Bay Beach, and finally returning to the brewery to begin our second lap. For those with no competitive bone in their body it’s a low key race that can be run at any pace. The course itself was open and had volunteers dotting every major turn and intersection. You’d have to try to get lost.
The scenery was fantastic and in addition to stellar views of Lake Superior we were treated with striking views of the massive ore dock. It’s one of only two that are still in operation and it evokes a sense of yesteryear. You’re also given the chance to run by a 2-8-8-4 Yellowstone class steam locomotive. This was one of the largest steam locomotives in the world and one of only three of its like that still exist. The course gave us a fascinating glimpse into the history of the area.
After the race we were treated to our choice of one swag item. We grabbed a bottle opener and a pint glass. Then we grabbed a koozie and redeemed our free beer. Our choice was a no brainer as we each grabbed a Castle Danger Cream Ale and settled in with some free snacks. The maltiness of the cream ale was particularly prominent after our run and very soon after we each had an empty can. I was really surprised with all the free things we got with our entry. A free beer was expected but all the additional swag and snacks were a welcome surprise!
Once the raffle was completed (I literally have never won one of these things) we ordered some food from the Dixie Food Trailer and settled in for an evening on the patio. Most of the race participants had long since departed by the time the sun set. The race organizers and volunteers were some of the only people to remain. Over the next several hours we nursed our beers and sore muscles and let the cool Lake Superior air wash over us.