It’s almost as if the city of Grand Rapids was designed with runners in mind; Grand Rapids and surrounding areas are home to dozens of running groups and events.

It’s no secret that Grand Rapids is also widely known for its craft beer scene, and in fact, multiple breweries and establishments in the area have teamed up with local running groups to offer a place to unwind and sip on craft beer after groups runs.

Here are just some of the local breweries, restaurants, and bars that cater to local running groups.

Fact: Founders Brewing Co., home to "Hills and Stairs," is one of the largest craft breweries in the nation.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids

“Hills and Stairs” at Founders Brewing Co.

In 2012, Hills and Stairs started with a group of friends that wanted to run hills and stairs on a weekly basis. Today, more than 40 people attend Hills and Stairs’ weekly group runs.

Every Wednesday at 6:30 PM you’ll find the Hills and Stairs running group beginning their 5.5-mile route at Founders Brewing Co. The running group is free to join and open to anyone.

The group follows the same route every week, and participants are welcome to shorten the route if needed.

The run concludes at Founders Brewing, where participants are welcome to enjoy food and craft beer. If you’re interested in regularly participating in Hills and Stairs, than become a Founders Mug Club Member for $2 off beer every Wednesday!

At any given time, Perrin Brewing Co. has over 15 craft beers on tap that span four tiers.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids

“No Problem Training” Series at Perrin Brewing Co.

The No Problem Training Series begins in December and concludes in May and is designed to help local runners prepare for upcoming races.

The No Problem Training Series meets at Perrin Brewing Co. at 6 PM on the second Tuesday of every month. The group is free and open to the public.

Participants can expect to run in a continuous loop that varies from one to three miles depending on the exact route. Plus, following the run, participants get free appetizers at Perrin Brewing Co.!

The Sovengard is one of the many locations in Grand Rapids' West Side neighborhood that the "WestSide Stride" meets at after their weekly runs.

Photo Credit: The Sovengard

“WestSide Stride” at Various Breweries, Restaurants, and Bars on Bridge Street

Every Tuesday at 6 PM from April through October, the WestSide Stride running group meets at the Swift Printing and Communications parking lot (note: this parking lot offers free parking). The running group follows a 5K course that changes every week, and is free and open to the public.

Following the 5K route, WestSide Striders meet at one of five different breweries and restaurants on Bridge Street in Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood.

Participating establishments include New Holland - The Knickerbocker, The Sovengard, O’Toole’s Public House, Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria and Brewery, and Harmony Hall.

Any one of the five participating establishments offers great craft beer selections, and offers discounts to WestSide Striders:

  • New Holland Brewing - The Knickerbocker: 10% off final bill and $1 off first beer
  • The Sovengard: 10% off final bill
  • O’Toole’s Public House: Extended Happy Hour and $2.50 taco special
  • Jolly Pumpkin Pizzeria and Brewery: Half off pizza with purchase of a pitcher and $5 any beer (does not include sours)
  • Harmony Hall: Extended Happy Hour

Visit the WestSide Stride Facebook group to learn what brewery or restaurant the group plans on visiting after its weekly run.

New Holland - The Knickerbocker is just one of the locations that Grand Rapids Beer Runs meets.

Photo Credit: Experience Grand Rapids

“Grand Rapids Beer Runs” at Various Breweries and Establishments

To get prepared up for the annual Grand Rapids Marathon and Half Marathon, race director Don Kern created the Grand Rapids Beer Runs running group.

The group meets on various dates and locations from June to November, and all runs start promptly at 6:30 PM. Routes vary between three to five miles.

Grand Rapids Beer Runs dates and starting locations include:

  • New Holland - The Knickerbocker: August 7
  • Vitale’s Comstock Park: September 4
  • Holland Brew Merchant: October 2
  • The Beer Garden at Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon: October 21
  • New Holland - The Knickerbocker: November 6

On-site registration is required to participate in Grand Rapids Beer Runs. First time participants are required to pay $20, which includes a T-shirt, one beer, appetizers, and a donation to a charity chosen by the participating starting location.

Returning runners are required to pay $10 for each run, which includes one beer, appetizers, and a donation to a charity chosen by the participating starting location.

Even if you aren’t planning on running the Grand Rapids Marathon and Half Marathon, you can still join in Grand Rapids Beer Runs running group.

For more information and resources on local running events and running groups, visit Experience Grand Rapids’ runners page.

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