BackBlast #029 – Beer City Relay

The idea for the Beer City Relay came from a ‘Twitter discussion’ with F3 Asheville. Over the past few years we have been two of the prominent cities vying for the title of Beer City USA, and are each proud of the #HDHH options available to us. Naturally the way to hash this out was through a CSAUP.

Pax: Gravy, Mad Cow, Reba, Roid Rage, Forrest, Little Brother, Depends, Radio, Basic Bro, Dungeon Master, QIC Bald Eagle.


The pax met at Richmond Park where the disclaimer was disclaimed; the warm-o-rama included a short mosey to the shovel flag, 15 SSH and 15 Cherry Pickers. The running line-up was given and the pax began their mosey to Greyline Brewing.

Bald Eagle led the first leg, a short .4 mile (.4 mile cumulative)  mosey. The CoP he led was 5 Bropees – a burpee done with a partner, with hand slaps after merkins, and a jumping high five at the top. He then proceeded to grab his reward, a Sirillo IPA, and hand the shovel flag off to Gravy. BasicBro suggested the flag bearer shift to the six for the next leg, which was a good suggestion.


Gravy led the second leg, but before the run his CoP was the Chuck Norris Burpee. The pax completed 15 of these before the 1 mile (1.4 cumulative) mosey to Long Road Distillers. The pax raced a train along the way, and held plank at the crossing until the caboose passed, before Gravy was able to enjoy a Long Road bourbon from locally sourced grains.

The third leg was the shortest – across the street, so after ensuring the coast was clear the pax all bear crawled across the street to The Mitten. It is here where the pax shifted strategy to sharing a flight instead of having the flag bearer drink a pint. 


After finishing the flight at The Mitten, Radio took the flag and led the 1.1 mile (2.5 cumulative) fourth leg mosey to Creston Brewery. Learning as we went, Bald Eagle’s M drove ahead and ordered the flights to keep the rhythm going. Speaking of rhythm…a drum circle was happening at Creston, and Gravy couldn’t help himself but participate. After the flights of beer, Radio led us in what he dubbed Ski Jumpers. A short hop, medium hop, and big hop in cadence.

Depends stepped up for the fifth leg – which was a trip to City Built Brewing, near our iconic Sixth Street Bridge. He had a special treat for us that involved a detour to our AO The Stairs – this segment ended up being 1.8 miles (4.3 cumulative) with 145 stairs climbed before we were able to enjoy what City Built had for us.

RoidRage (who’s M joined Bald Eagle’s M in the scout truck) carried the flag for us for the sixth leg, .4 miles (4.7 cumulative) to Grey Skies Distillery. He led us through Jump Squats with an Al Gore hold in the parking lot from 10 reps defending to 1 rep before he went in for his shot of gin. At this point a slight mist started falling which was quite welcomed among the pax.

Forrest guided us for the 7th leg over to the Canal Park along the river where he led us in some boat canoes before we ran along the banks of the Grand River to Atwater Brewing .6 miles (5.3 total). The scout M’s had two flights of four beers ready for us which we were able to enjoy on the sidewalk. 

Mad Cow stepped up for the 8th leg .4 miles (5.7 cumulative. He chose for his CoP to be right outside Atwater Brewing, on one of the busier intersections in the city. The Exercise: The Howling Monkey aka Monkey Humpers in a circle where each pax takes a turn doing 5 Monkey Humpers while the other pax grabbed and held their ankles. We definitely got some honks and looks from that one.


We stopped in to New Holland Brewery for our flight, before Dungeon Master grabbed the flag and took the lead for the 9th leg. We were held up by the same train that held us up previously – naturally we planked and did some merkins with passers by to wait for the caboose to pass. DM then led us the last of the .3 miles (6.0 cumulative) to Harmony Hall Brewing where he led the pax and two on-lookers in some Diamond-Annie Merkins.

Little Brother grabbed the flag for the 10th leg and brought us back down Bridge Street the .2 miles (6.2 cumulative) to Jolly Pumpkin. Along the way we passed a fire station where he led us in some Fireman Burpees. 

Reba then grabbed the flag and led us the 1 mile (7.2 cumulative) to GR Brewing Company for the 11th leg. He led his Laker themed (his almamater – the GVSU Lakers) CoP on the Blue Bridge right in the heart of downtown and connected to GVSU’s downtown campus.


GR Brewing was hosting an event sponsored by our Grand Raggidy Roller Girls, so BasicBro used his 12th leg for us to bear crawl through a gauntlet of fully costumed roller girls before enjoying a great IPA at HopCat a few doors down from GR Brewing.



Reba then carried the flag the final .3 miles (7.5 total) to Founders Brewing, where he led a good old fashioned Circle Merk before we wrapped up with the Circle of Trust. After the CoT we found our way to Bald Eagle’s truck where Gravy’s M had 4 delicious pies waiting for us on the tailgate. No silverware was needed at this point.

The pax then enjoyed some great beer and even better 2F at our flagship brewery – Founders. 


All in all it was a really good event. A few of the pax said they had never run that far – all it took was a little bit of peer & beer pressure. The mosey pace allowed for conversations along the way and at each stop, and the beer was enjoyed responsibly. If you have a region interested in a similar event and carrying on the stein & shovel flag, we’d be happy to share lessons we learned along the way.

We also would be remisce if we did not give a huge shout out to the M’s – for taking care of the 2.0’s, driving the scout truck, taking the pictures, and bringing the pies! Helping make FIA happen here is definitely something the pax want for our M’s.


Bald Eagle