Minneapolis residents love to bike.
For anyone that lives, works, shops, drives or even just sets foot in Minneapolis, it’s clear there is a strong cyclist culture.
So, it’s a bit surprising that with the rising of Minnesota’s craft beer movement there has never before been an organized ride. Especially in Northeast, an area that could be considered the epicenter for both beer and bikes.
Enter Nate Herrington.
You may recall the name. Herrington is part owner of the Minnesota Brewery Running Series. One of his first exercise-and-beer business ventures, Herrington started the organization along with Morgan Jappe four-and-a-half years ago. It combines running, philanthropy and beer.
His newest endeavor follows many of these same things.
Just replace “running” with “biking.”
Brew Ride began in June 2015, and it began as a shuttle company.
Herrington and friends Josh and Ben Krsnack shared a love of craft beer. The three enjoyed visiting local breweries in their free time but always found it frustratingly complicated when coordinating ways to get home safely.
“I thought, ‘Let’s make something safe, fun, convenient and take some of our business knowledge and put it to action. So, that’s how Brew Ride really started,” Herrington said.
In the spring of 2015 Herrington, Ben and Josh bought shuttles and began taking small groups out on private tours.
After a few test runs, they official began the Brewery Pub Crawl in June.
The Brewery Pub Crawl service takes place on Saturdays. From 2 – 8 p.m. guests can ride the shuttle to and from a number of predetermined breweries. All-day passes ($35) allow guests to visit each destination, while one-time pass ($7) takes them to just one stop. Tickets can be purchased before or same-day.
This month, the shuttle is stopping at Bauhaus Brew Labs, Dangerous Man Brewing Company, Fulton Brewery and Sociable Cider Werks.
Already been to these breweries? Well, wait until next month.
“On a monthly basis [we] reevaluate, and we have anywhere from four to six breweries where we stop,” Herrington said. “The other ones that aren’t on the website that we stop at include Surly, 612 Brew, Insight Brewing [and] North Gate Brewing.”
Just as with the Minnesota Brewery Running Series, Brew Ride also has a nonprofit angle. From the Saturday service, $5 from every ticket is donated to a nonprofit. Some nonprofits they have supported include Bolder Options and Brewing A Better Forest.
“Who we give it to, it does rotate a bit on who personally as a business we like to support and who in the brewing industry people like to support,” Herrington said.
But after just two months, another idea began to emerge.
“Early on in some of our market research when we showed people the name, the logo, they were like ‘Oh, it’s a bike company. That sounds cool,'” Herrington said. “From the get go people have responded to the company and the brand as maybe relating to the biking.”
So, as passionate about exercise as he is beer, Herrington decided to take that perception and build upon it.
Thus, the Brew Ride Bike Ride was born.
Brew Ride’s bike ride is a 10-mile route through Northeast that shows off some of the great aspects of the neighborhood and some of the great breweries.
Three rest stops, all held at a different breweries, will offer riders a chance to rest, chat, learn more about local nonprofits and, of course, try some great beer.
“[It’s] just another passion,” Herrington said. “We get people to ride a bus and my other business we make people go for a run, so here we can get them out on their bike to see a brewery destination.”
The ride will stop at Insight Brewing Company, Sociable Cider Werks and NorthGate Brewing. Local bike shops will be on hand at each stop to offer bike maintenance and assistance. A food truck or local food company will have snacks and a representative from a local nonprofit will on hand to give more information to interested guests.
The ride takes place at noon on Sunday, Sept. 13. Tickets cost $20. The price includes one free beer, some free gear, the bike route and an all-access pass to all of the festivities.
Riders of all ages are welcome.
“I want to make sure we represent this whole variety and spectrum of people on this bike ride,” Herrington said. “It’s a brewery and they have great beer but it’s really just a hangout for family and friends.”
That spectrum includes those that may not own their own bike.
Herrington said everyone is welcome to join the group at any of their rest stops as the breweries will be open to the public all day. Of course, they do have capacity limits.
If you can’t catch this ride, don’t worry too much. Herrington said they hope to be able to do a ride at least once a quarter.
“I love working in this industry because there’s this undercurrent that’s happening. There’s this cultural change that’s happening with just one person at a time. When you go to see a brewery and see what it’s doing to connect people and to connect people to their neighborhood…I love that about it,” Herrington said. “I love that it’s just various parts of Minneapolis and St. Paul that people might not have seen or recognized before. So a bike ride is just one more way to get that new segment of people out.”
For more information on Brew Ride’s Bike Ride, or to purchase tickets, visit Brew Ride online.