Boston Brewvet: Take On the Bike and Beer Challenge
Jeff Wharton is challenging people to take on the sites and suds that Massachusetts has to offer.
While most beer pairings are associated with food, Wharton, cofounder of DrinkCraftBeer.com, a Boston-based website dedicated to the craft brew industry, wants to put new beer experiences in the lives of avid cyclists.
“Biking culture and beer culture have a big overlap, and a lot in common,” says Wharton, who launched the idea of a “Brewvet” with the help of Drink correspondent John Roche, who is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and the website’s cofounder Devon Regan.
Wharton says the BrewVet manifested from a book about the long-distance cycling sport known as randonneuring, and traveling to different coffee locations. Inspired by the concept, Roche pitched it to Wharton, which led to their desire to recognize the “spirit of commingling…shared love for gears and grains, [and] hops and handlebars,” while exploring cities, and of course, swapping out coffee for beer. “It meshes well. The whole idea of Drink is keeping beer fun and opening the industry up to people. The idea here fit really well, because a lot of people are also intense about cycling,” says Wharton.
Since launching the Brewvet Challenge, which runs through July 14, Wharton says people from all over the world have signed up. Locally, participants have been arranging meet-ups with other cyclists to take on the treks from brewery to brewery, and bar to bar.
As part of the experience, there are a set of rules and requirements for each participant, including logging all of the stops and distances for each beer and bike adventure. Wharton says prizes for some of the entries, if they include “awesome pictures and documentation,” will also likely be part of the Brewvet.
The entire Brewvet consists of 12 separate bike rides, each of which fits into a specific category, with a specific type of beer, for a total distance 62 miles. Riders are encouraged to make both short and long-distance trips in the interest of checking out some new territories. “The element of exploration is important. You could make it where you ride five miles to the nearest bar, and have the same thing 12 times…but that, in my opinion, there is something missing there,” says Roche. “The explosion of craft beer culture is to try something that you wouldn’t usually, and step outside of your comfort limits while seeing somewhere new.”
But it’s not about competition, says Wharton. “If you’re not having fun with either one of them, you need to take a step back a bit. It should be fun at some level, and that’s what the event hits on. Have fun, go out, try some new stuff.”
The complete rules and sign-up for the Brewvet can be found here.