Beercycling: Bringing beer, bikes and friends together for summertime fun
Northwest Indiana and southwest Michigan are great locations for biking. And with all the great breweries located in this area, why not visit them by bike? Or, beercycling.
Five years ago Julie Wartell of PubQuest read about Evan Cohan, who was planning a two month beercycle on the east coast. She contacted Evan, who runs beercycling.com, to ask if she could join for part of the trip. She ended up spending 10 days and 450 miles biking from New York City to Washington D.C., and they hit 23 breweries and beer bars.
She was hooked.
With Evan’s approval, Julie adopted the name beercycles and began organizing cycling beer tours ranging from all day to a few days. Julie says she uses the term organizing loosely, since it is mostly informal.
In Julie’s words, “We (PubQuest) make custom maps for these beercycles and connect with the breweries, but we don’t charge people or have any official tour going on… instead it’s a bunch of like-minded craft beer and bicycling enthusiasts getting together for an adventure.”
This is what led to the upcoming beercycle from Kalamazoo, Mich., to Chicago. Serge, one of the PubQuest ambassadors and Julie decided to beercycle for four days from Kalamazoo back to Serge’s hometown of Chicago. They are more than happy to have any interested beercyclists join them on this trip, which will begin on July 9 and include about a dozen brewery stops along the way.
Beercycling, however, doesn’t have to be a major, several day trip. Just yesterday I caught up with Kevin and Chris, both employees at Goshen Brewing Company, as they were heading to Iechyd Da Brewing on their day off. Their bike trip took about an hour each way riding along the Mapleheart Trail, which begins on the north side of Goshen. The trail parallels C.R. 45 and a Norfolk Southern Railroad corridor through residential and commercial areas. Ox Bow County Park is located about halfway along the trail to Elkhart. The previous week, they rode from Goshen to 41 Degrees North in Middlebury.
Want to have some fun and get some exercise at the same time this summer? All you need is a bike (I strongly recommend a helmet), some friends and a brewery or beer bar for your destination!