13 Half Marathons With (Lots Of) Beer at the Finish Line

Cups of Oakshire Brewing beer at the Eugene Marathon.

Cups of Oakshire Brewing beer at the Eugene Marathon.

What’s the best way to celebrate a half-marathon finish? With every runner’s favorite phrase of course, “free unlimited beer!” Sponsored by big breweries and up-and-coming crafters alike, these races are sure to get you to the finish line faster with the promise of liquid gold.

1) Shiner Beer Run Half Marathon & 5K

Take a hilly run through the “Cleanest Little City in Texas” and be rewarded at the finish line at the historic Spoetzl Brewery in Shiner, Texas. The race takes runners through Green Dickson Park and includes a mile of running on a loose gravel road—ensuring racers get to experience a true Texas country road.

After collecting your medal (which doubles as a bottle opener), rehydrate in the Shiner Beer Garden. Enjoy food and live music as you load up on liquid carbs. Free brewery tours begin at 10:00a.m. and the party carries on until 2:00p.m. Full-Pint partner passes for spectators can be purchased for just $20 so your non-running, beer drinking friends can join the fun.

2) Lone Star Half Marathon

The Lone Star Half Marathon is an out and back course through the hill country roads of Gillespie County, Texas. Located about 70 miles west of Austin and 60 miles north of San Antonio, the town of Luckenbach doesn’t normally draw big crowds. But the post-race celebration party of this half marathon promises that this small town will come to life.

The beer garden opens a mere 45 minutes after the race starts as the 5K finishers complete their race. Half-marathoners who finish quickly can enjoy more of the free beer, food, and music will that keep runners happy until noon. Spectators wishing to participate in the fun can purchase a $20 pass to the beer garden and feel good knowing 100% of it will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

3) Rehoboth Beach Marathon & Half Marathon

Visiting the beach in December in Delaware is not usually a “must do”. But the after party at the Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon is a reason to put it on your racing calendar. Runners can fly through the fast and flat course quickly. The start/finish line is within walking distance to the beach and picturesque town provides great scenery as a backdrop during the race.

The after party tent is located right next to the finish line and features all-you-can drink beer from 16 Mile Brewing Company. Plenty of hot food is available and a DJ keeps runners sweating long after the race is over. Non-running friends and spectators can purchase a wristband for the tent for just $15.

4) Swamp House Half Marathon

DeBary, Florida is home to the Swamp House Half Marathon, located approximately 30 minutes north of Orlando. Runners start (and finish) the loop-style course at the Swamp House Grill. The route travels through the historic town of DeBary and along the St. John’s River. This central Florida town sits at just 56’ in elevation so expect a fast and flat course.

The post-race party rages from 8:00a.m. until 11:00a.m. and runners can enjoy unlimited beer from the Swamp House Grill. Live music and plenty of food will keep racers happy as they cool down from their morning. Feel free to bring a crowd to help you celebrate as friends and family can purchase food and drinks from the Swamp House Grill.

5) Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon

With 5 miles of oceanfront running and plenty of free beer when you finish, how can you not sign up for the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon? Runners start at the Coastal Grand Mall and head north after a couple of quick turns through town. At the halfway point, runners begin to make their way back south cruising along with ocean views to their left.

The Beach Party awaiting runners at the end is the perfect way to celebrate a finish. Collect your bottle opener medal and head to the beach where you can enjoy plenty of beer, food, and music. With the Atlantic literally steps away from the party, runners can also cool their tired feet and legs in the water while soaking in the festivities.

6) Half Madness

Run the gently rolling hills of the Peapod Half Madness Half Marathon in Batavia, Illinois and be rewarded with all-you-can-drink Sam Adams at the finish. Located less than an hour from downtown Chicago, the course runs through historic sections of Batavia and along the Fox River. Gradual ascents and descents over the 13.1 miles are very doable, but add an extra challenge.

The post-race party begins at 8:15a.m. and runners have until noon to gobble pizza and drink their share of Sam Adams. Bring your friends and family to the party too—beer will be available to purchase for non-runners and plenty of non-alcoholic options will help cool off the crowd in August.

7) Great Bay Half Marathon & Newmarket 5K

Sponsored by Smuttynose Brewing Company, New Hampshire’s leading craft brewery, the Great Bay Half is quite the run-party! The course is full of rolling hills, but tops out at just over 100 feet in elevation. Located just outside of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, the race takes place in the town of Newmarket, along the Great Bay.

After finishing the loop-style course, runners can refuel in Schanda Park right along the waterfront. The beer party will take place at The Riverworks and the American Legion Hall located right near the finish line. The race doesn’t start until 11:00a.m. so this is the perfect race for runners who stay out late carbo-loading with beer the night before!

Runners in the Horsetooth Half Marathon. (Photo by 365 Days of Education)

Runners in the Horsetooth Half Marathon. (Photo by 365 Days of Education)

8) Horsetooth Half Marathon

Run the Horsetooth Half Marathon in Fort Collins, Colorado and celebrate with New Belgium beer at the finish line. This point-to-point half marathon has some serious hills and starts at an elevation of 5195’. Three monsters named Monster Mountain, Dam Hill, and Bingham Hill must be tackled before you reach the brewery.

But the victory party will be delicious for those that climb 917’ in elevation. All runners over the age of 21 can partake in New Belgium’s finest selections beginning at 9:30a.m. Local Boy Scouts will be grilling and serving hot dogs and plenty of live music will keep the party going for hours.

9) Ultramax Sports Half Marathon & 10K

The Adventuremax Half Marathon is a great trail race located an hour west of St. Louis with a brewery sponsorship. Runners will travel a loop course with varying elevation that is a wonderful course for new trail runners. The terrain is widely varied and consists of road, gravel, and trail with no creek crossings and very little single track.

Sponsored by Rock Bridge Brewery, the post-race beer will help wash away some of the grit and dirt of the trails. Rock Bridge is a craft brewery located in Colombia, Missouri that is expanding their reach quickly. Sample some of their delicious brews and enjoy food while recovering from your race.

10) Covered Bridges Half Marathon

Sponsored by Harpoon Brewery, the Covered Bridges Half Marathon near Woodstock, Vermont is a net downhill, point-to-point course. Runners begin their journey at the Suicide Six Ski area in South Pomfret and run through the farmland to get to Woodstock. The course follows the Ottauquechee River and winds down to the village of Quechee.

Finishers will be greeted with plenty of free food and unlimited beer by Harpoon Brewery. Harpoon has plants in both Boston and Vermont and has been brewing beer for nearly 30 years.

11) Jalapeno Half Marathon

Located in Fort Worth, Texas, the Jalapeno Half Marathon adds a fun new twist into the race. Runners can enter a jalapeno eating contest in addition to racing 13.1 miles. The first person to eat 5 jalapenos will receive a medal, bragging rights, and a roll of aloe toilet paper.

The half marathon course is a loop-style course that runs along the Clear View Trinity River through Trinity Park, Hartwood Park, and through the neighborhoods of Texas Christian University. While the course has plenty of shaded miles, it is Texas in June. Expect it to be sweltering even at the start. Luckily, finishers over the age of 21 can load up on free beer from Rabbit Hole Brewing, a local craft brewery.

12) Harpers Ferry Half Marathon

Mountain State Brewing Company is one of the sponsors of the Harpers Ferry Half Marathon in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. This course is run almost exclusively in Harpers Ferry National Park and is a challenging 13.1 miles. Runners will find mixed terrain of trail, road, and crushed gravel as they climb over 1000’ in elevation. The hills are rolling though and racers will complete over 2000’ of elevation change throughout the half marathon.

With views of the Potomac and the Shenandoah, this picturesque race gets even better at the finish line. All-you-can-drink beer is offered along with music as runners relax in the beer garden. Panera and Brothers Pizza will be offering plenty of delicious food to refuel for an afternoon of exploring the beautiful local offerings.

Running past the Santa Rosa Creek. (Photo by Peter Stetson/flickr)

13) The Santa Rosa Marathon & Half Marathon

The city of Santa Rosa, California, is home to the mostly flat and scenic Santa Rosa Half Marathon. The out-and-back course runs along the Santa Rosa Creek on a paved path. There is a slight descent in the first half and a slight climb during the second half, but the hills are fairly minimal.

All runners are not only treated to a bottle of wine with their race entry, but they can enjoy free beer and wine at the post-race party. Stacks of pancakes will help soak up the drink of your choice and music will keep the party going all morning long.

4 comments… add one
  • Cheryl Cook February 22, 2016, 11:31 am

    The River Vista Half Marathon & Triple Peak Challenge has catered food & free flowing beer & wine tasting throughout the weekend. Always the first weekend in December.

  • Pam and Christine November 13, 2015, 7:55 am

    Add the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon and Half Marathon to your list. While I ran, my husband got to enjoy Sam Adams and I am not sure what else at the finish line!

  • scotty January 14, 2015, 1:36 pm

    Not sure where you get your information from, but I have to disagree with #5. The Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon. I’ve run that race twice and you only get 1 beer at the end and you have to consume it in a (small) roped off area behind the stage.

  • Robin AllenBurke January 12, 2015, 7:30 am

    Please add the Castle in the Clouds Half Marathon Road Race and 5k Trail Race to your Beer Runs :)and to your half marathons.net race list
    Date: November 1, 2015

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