Coming Right Up: Great Boston Beer Marathon

It all started when a few friends, inspired by the grueling 26.2-mile Boston Marathon, created a 26-bar birthday pub crawl. A couple of phone calls and some inter-office e-mails later, the Great Boston Beer Marathon was born — with 750 participants in year one.

Fast forward six years, and the event has grown into one of America’s biggest pub crawls with as many as 3,000 people joining in the fun. For $25 ($30 if you wait ’til the day of), participants receive beer marathon memorabilia including light-up viking helmets, T-shirts, and swag bags, as well as access to drink and food specials and free pool at 26 different bars stretching from Kenmore Square out to Allston (here’s the whole list).

The event presents a worthy test of any Bostonian’s true beer-swilling ability, but the idea isn’t to hit all 26 bars. Event organizer John Vergato says, “the goal is to have fun.” The route begins near Fenway with registration at the House of Blues before revelers scatter from Kenmore staples like Cask N’ Flagon and Bleacher Bar on up to Allston’s White Horse Tavern because, says Vergato, even after a day of boozing, marathoners are still welcome in the Allston bars. “We’re not shunned there,” he adds. Hannah Sawyer

Saturday, 7/16; Registration starts at 10 am at House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St., Boston;