It was a cool Monday afternoon with a slight breeze in the air. As the sun slowly started to set, participants of the weekly run congregated at the parking lot of Anaheim’s Golden Road Brewing’s Taproom, greeting one another as they got in some last-minute stretching. With a quick announcement of the runners route and an impromptu group picture the race began soon after. What’s waiting for them at the finish line, you might ask? A cold tall glass of craft brew.
What started off as an idea to make new friends and explore the OC beer-scene has now become a close-knit community of runners and beer lovers alike.
Moving to a new city is always tough. Moving to a new state is even harder. How am I going to make new friends? A dilemma many of us who dare to leave “the nest” are all too familiar with. When confronted with the issue, Johnny Tron — a Virginia transplant and now OC resident, came up with a simple, yet creative solution to his dilemma.
Start a running club but not just any running club, one that loves craft brews just as much as himself. When talking about his love of running and craft beer, Tron kept it simple, “Why not get the best of both worlds,” he said and OC Craft Beer Runners was born.
Originally organized by Sean Berringer two years ago, a now Seattle resident, Tron along with friends Matt Bohen and Tim Meltreger now organize and host the weekly runs centered around Orange County’s thriving craft-beer scene. Through thoughtful preparation, running routes are designed to be in the 3-mile range and begin and end at a different brewery every Monday.
“I’ve been following them on Instagram for a while now and finally decided to join them on a run,” said Marcus Beeman, an OC resident and first-time runner.
They are more than a running club, they are a community in every sense of the word. Through their approachable personalities and close-knit bonds, first-time runners are immediately greeted and welcomed. With warm smiles and hellos before their runs to high-fives and clanking of pint glasses filled to the brim with liquid gold, runs are open to all.
“A lot of these people [here] were first-time runners and it’s great seeing them get in better shape and transform,” Tron said.
The OC Craft Runners meet every Monday at a different Orange County brewery at 7p.m. For more information about their weekly runs, check out their Instagram @OC.Craft.Runners