5 Holiday Beers for Post-Run Recovery

fri5holbeerHappy Friday! Barley here to talk about something very important to training; BEER RECOVERY! We all know that hard training is nothing without the proper recovery tools. During the holidays it is easy to overindulge in all sorts of treats, but I’m here to remind you that some treats can actually HELP you!

During runs in the sweltering summer heat I don’t know about you, but I dream of drinking a cold brew while chattering away in an ice bath. After a cold winter run, you’re probably tempted to grab a hot coffee to get rid of those chattering teeth, but I have something even better to stop your shivers … Holiday beers!

1. Great Lakes Christmas Ale

Much like Salty Running, this beer is made in Cleveland, Ohio and features cinnamon, honey, and ginger to tame its 7.5% ABV (alcohol by volume). Throw on some wool socks and comfy pants, then unwind with sugar cookies and a Christmas ale; sure to replenish your glycogen stores as you relax after your long run.

2. Southern Tier 2XMAS

On those days where you come back from a frigid run with frozen eyelashes, you can’t feel your face, and you aren’t sure your legs are still attached, grab this one. 2XMAS is a NY brewed ale. Its essences of orange peels and figs provide just the right flavors to thaw your taste buds. The spiciness and the 8.5% ABV will warm the rest of you!

I take my recovery very seriously.

3. Blue Moon Gingerbread Spiced Ale

Not quite ready for winter? You can pretend it’s fall forever with the one I call the Pumpkin Spiced Latte of beers. The smooth flavor and relatively low ABV (less than 6%) of this Colorado beer make it a great alternative to your hot chocolate, latte, or chai tea after a cold winter late autumn run.

4. Leinenkugels Snowdrift Vanilla Porter

Much like the Blue Moon, this Wisconsin brew is a great alternative for your post-run hot beverages. The strong vanilla and hints of chocolate flavors will warm you up while you do some post-run Garmin split-stalking just as much as any cup of coffee. (Another alternative is Rohrbach Vanilla Porter if you are ever in the Upstate, NY region. It would have made the list except it’s available by local distribution only).

5. Troegs Mad Elf Ale

I saved the most important for last, as this Pennsylvania delight is a vital tool in the runner’s recovery beer fridge. It might be the cherries and honey, or maybe the Dobby-like elf pictured on the bottle… but let’s be honest; it’s the 11% ABV that will get you every damn time. If your run was not the best and leaves you in a bitter Scrooge-like mood that shows no sign of budgin’, grab that bottle opener or just rip the top off with your running rage and chug one of these. I promise you that high alcohol content and deliciousness are sure to make you forget that bad run before you can say “fa la la la la.”

What holiday brews do you warm up with after a cold winter run? Cheers!

A new mom and Upstate, NY resident who loves the marathon, a good beer, and all of the numbers/nerdy things. I write about my journey to a sub-3:00 marathon, training tweaks for improvement, and finding that "running/life balance" unicorn. On tap Next: Maneuvering through motherhood and postpartum running!

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  1. This is my first time here, and holy crap this post is perfection. I love beer and running and choosing a favorite of the two would be pretty impossible. Laura, that picture is pure perfection. I totally have to try that Mad Elf ale!

  2. New beers to hunt! Thanks!

    I have mad love for Bell’s Winter White. However, I may be replacing this with the porter that is being released to night from Exile (local IA brewer) that is made with chocolate from my local chocolate shop. We’ll see in 1.5 hrs.

  3. Of course you’d recommend Mad Elf Ale as the save-the-best-for-last. It’s my new-found favorite beer as of trying it out two weeks ago. Note to self: Buy more. Now.

  4. I totally picked up the Blue Moon Gingerbread Spiced Ale at the grocery store this weekend, based solely on this article. I’ve put the others on my list too! Thanks for this!

      1. It is! It reminded me a lot of their pumpkin one, whatever the proper name for that is…except without the weird aftertaste – less sweet, maybe. Very drinkable!

        1. Glad you liked it! I actually don’t think I ever tried the Blue Moon pumpkin one! Normally my pumpkin go-to beer is Southern Tier Pumpking…it’s the best.

  5. I’ve only had the Snow Drift and loved it, I saw the Mad Elf recently I will be putting it on my list. There is nothing like a cold beer after a run.