Tour de brew: Shoes & Brews

Longmont has a new way to prep and recover for that marathon

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Shoes & Brews Assistant Manager and Creative Ninja Ingrid Jones
Susan France

There is something that has been weighing on my mind these days, and it’s my weight. More and more of it seems to show up and to be frank, I’m not sure why. As far as I’m concerned, I’m a model of healthy living. The mileage on this frame is so low it’s practically new, thanks to the amount of time I spend on my rear end watching movies, drinking beer and writing about both. Sure, I’ve had it for a few decades, but I swear I only used it to walk to the bar for a beer and then to the store to buy more candy bars.

Unfortunately, what works for used cars doesn’t garner me any brownie points, and my associate is convinced it’s high time I get out there and whip this flabby sack of crap into something resembling a healthy human being. Luckily, there’s a place in Longmont that has my number, a place where I can recoup for my next workout while quaffing a delicious craft beer: Shoes & Brews.

Opened in 2014, Shoes & Brews is both a retail running shop and a bar rolled into one. The building, located next to the St. Vrain Creek just off of Pratt Parkway, features a “mullet” layout (their word, not mine) with the business in the front and a party in the back. They open at noon, seven days a week, for all your exercise and running needs. But my favorite, the post-run recovery beer, is what makes Shoes & Brews particularly attractive.

It’s more bar than brewery — theirs is a one-barrel system — with their tap wall featuring at least 20 offerings of Colorado’s finest, some of which are very hard to track down, and two brews of their own. When I last relaxed after a run — OK, jog — I started with their Hef-Yeah (5.5% ABV), a thirst quenching hefeweizen with a touch of honey on the nose, which my associate found to be most enjoyable. She particularly liked the hef’s light and effervescent body, which is a product of the Weihenstephan yeast — the most popular German wheat beer strain used worldwide.

I leaned a little more toward the Red Red Rye (5.8%), an ale that tamps down hops in favor of a round and aromatic malt that goes down smooth, real smooth. I know the name is a play on UB40’s 1983 reggae hit, but The Stones were playing in the brewery that afternoon and it was a perfect combination of oral and aural pleasure.

With beer like this, I may learn to love running yet. And on April 8, I’ll get a chance to test out my conviction when Shoes & Brews sponsors a 5K Brew Fest race. The race starts at Left Hand Brewing at 10 a.m. and ends at Shoes & Brews whenever I can manage to drag my clunker across the line. Thank heavens there is an after party.

Registration is $35 and it includes beer, a pint glass and a bunch of other stuff you’ll want to check out.

On tap: Shoes & Brews. 63 S. Pratt Parkway, Unit B, Longmont, 720-340-4290, shoesbrews.com.