What: Running for Brews
When: 6:15 p.m. Tuesdays
Where: Walnut Brewery, 1123 Walnut St., Boulder
More info: facebook.com/RunningForBrewsBoulder
A little after 7 p.m. one Tuesday, a group of 25 sweaty, red-faced Boulderites in running tights pushed their way into a crowded Walnut Brewery and proceeded to swallow dozens of pints of Scottish tartan ale.
Beer and running -- a hoppy, sweaty love affair.
At least that's the philosophy of Running for Brews, a group founded in 2010 by Kevin Bupp, a 33-year-old Coolwater, Fla., resident with a penchant for making exercise a social outing. Bupp and his business partner, John McMahan, created the Boulder chapter earlier this fall.
Bupp loved running. And he loved running groups, but he found them lacking in meaningful social interaction. The group would meet, run and then depart without so much as a word about hanging out after or meeting up later in the week for dinner or drinks.
So he took matters into his own hands and started a MeetUp group with the intention of running a 5K and then gathering at a local bar for beers.
Two years later, Running for Brews has 10 chapters and about 3,000 runners nationwide and has plans to expand. The group has added a philanthropy component, asking runners to bring canned food items to runs or donating the proceeds of any events to a local charity.
Plus, Bupp added, they're stimulating the local economy by drinking beer. Lots of it. McMahan even swears that drnking beer after exercising is good for your health.
Some runners weren't so sure. Alyssa Carlson, 22, said she wasn't sure if drinking a beer right after working out was the best plan.
"I'm going to have to calculate how many calories I burned," Carlson said, laughing. She ordered a beer and the brewery's carrot cake, which she shared with her table.
If beer isn't your style, the group doesn't mind. In Boulder, Walnut Brewery created a special runner's menu for Tuesday nights so participants can nab deals on appetizers and other foods.
"Even if you aren't going to have a beer, you know there's going to be a point in time where people are going to relax," Bupp said. "It's not get in your car and leave. Beer is just a bonus, People like cold beverages after they're done running."
McMahan, the group's current CEO, recruited his friend Kate Waller to head the Boulder club.
On one outing, Waller calls the runners to order, laughing loudly while handing out tokens for free beer to first-timers, those who brought canned goods and those who brought a friend.
Though she's in her first year of law school at the University of Colorado, Waller makes time for running. When she moved to Boulder, she too joined an array of running clubs, only to feel disappointed by the lack of connection she felt with the other runners.
"I feel like what Boulder really needed was a run club more focused on socializing and networking and philanthropy than it was on being a hard-core Boulder person," she said.
For Jeff Parr, 24, who came with his twin brother, Steve, knowing that beer awaits makes the running a bit easier, he said, adding that he doesn't run very often.
"You can go running by yourself and do as much as you want, but when you're with a group of people it pushes you a little bit harder, you can have a conversation," he said. "It makes it more enjoyable."
--Follow Sarah Kuta on Twitter: @SarahKuta.