What's the best beer to drink after my fondo?
We've never been asked that. But we needed an excuse.
When the temperatures reach 80 degrees and above, beer just tastes better after a bike ride. It might not even be a beer you would normally drink. But something changes. You are so dehydrated your normal rules go flying out the window and you discover there is a whole selection of beers you suddenly love.
It never tastes the same as it does after a ride.
We’ve been doing too much post-ride-beer training and we feel the need to justify our poor choices by sharing what we’ve discovered as if we were doing some type of public service--which we were not. We paired beers (and maybe a few seltzers) with our Fondo rides.
If you disagree with any of our selections, please remember taste is subjective...and we were really thirsty.
Saturday Fondo beer pairings:
Piccolo Distance: 42 miles
Fruit Smash Hard Seltzer by New Belgium Brewery
Yes, we know it’s not a beer. Relax. Do whatever makes you happy. And these flavor bombs from the storied Fort Collins, Colorado brewery make us happy. Of all the hard seltzer products offered, these are definitely ones you want to try. They go down easy and are only 100 calories each. You want to ride more miles so the fewer calories the better. You can’t really miss with anything from New Belgium. A 42-mile ride and a Fruit Smash or two sounds like a great day with plenty of energy left over for cheering on the crit races on Soundpony Hill. Add a few more Fruit Smashes and you will probably start thinking it’s not too late to jump in a race. Don’t do that. Congrats on riding 42!
Medio Distance: 65 miles
Lager of the Lakes by Bell’s Brewery
This Michigan brewery is as famous for its parties as it is for its beers. This Bohemian Lager is a good pairing for your metric century or CBH. Light, refreshing and a wonderful replacement for actual water that you should be drinking but aren’t. These go down way too easily and should be handed out to everyone getting off the bike along with a pickle juice spritzer. Three of these might make you forget to put sunscreen on while watching the races fly by Saturday afternoon. But you won’t care. Nice job riding 65!
Gran Distance: 102 miles
McNellies Pub Ale - Marshall Brewing Company
This collab between two venerable Tulsa institutions is what you'd run into if we held the Saint Francis Tulsa Tough in Liverpool. This English Bitter Ale is balanced just right to take a moment and enjoy. Take this time to celebrate what you just did. You rode 102 hilly, suffering miles on a route meant to beat you. But you won. All cyclists know that 100 miles is an achievement. It's a physical challenge, sure. But the number 100 is a psychological hurdle to clear as well. Those two zeros on the tail end are the rollers you just hauled you and your bike over to make it home. Stop and enjoy this moment. It really is the best time to be alive. Congratulations! You did it!
Sunday Fondo beer pairings:
Piccolo Distance: 33 miles
Spacerveza - NEFF Brewing
Our favorite beer after any ride is Mexican beer. This is a top-tier Mexican Lager from the heart of Downtown Tulsa. Pair with a lime and you are good to go for the beach party popping off on Cry Baby Hill for Sunday’s races. This brewer makes gluten-free beer and you don’t notice anything missing. You don’t want any gluten to weigh you down after your ride because Sunday’s races will be going full gas when you get back. Please hydrate as these will sneak up on you after a long ride and a full day in the sun - like any good Mexican lager should. Congratulations on your 33!
Medio Distance: 68 miles
More flavors than Baskin Robbins - White Claw Hard Seltzer
Yes, we have two hard seltzers on this “beer list.” It’s almost summertime! And we are prepping for what is usually the hottest weekend of the year. Thanks, Travis Meyer!
If you aren’t reaching for one of these on your way to Cry Baby Hill to celebrate bicycles, you are, in fact, doing it wrong. Cry Baby Hill owes a lot of its insanity to the contributions of the hard seltzer industry. True story. Low calories and low(ish) alcohol content can help you maintain in all the excitement and crowd and heat. Please mix water in there too because you just rode over 100 kilometers - sorry, this is America - almost 70 miles. That’s an epic day on a bike! Cry Baby Hill is waiting on you! Hurry! Incredible work riding 68 miles!
Elite beer pairings
Double Tough Challenge
Double Tough IPA, Marshall Brewing Company
Translated form Italian, "Gran Fondo" means, "Big Ride". And you just went on two epic ones. What does one celebrate with? Well, Eric and the gang at Marshall's just happened to brew a beer for this exact accomplishment. It's like rolling 300 in bowling and getting handed a PBR. Or winning the queen stage in a Grand Tour and getting handed a magnum of champagne that is bigger than you (Giro d'Italia lesson: Don't point the cork end at your eye!) This citrusy offering has the right notes to cut through the stalagmites of salt in and around your mouth. Warning on the 7% alcohol. If you have more than 2 in your condition you are no longer physically qualified to operate a motor vehicle or emotionally capable of watching, "The Notebook". Chapeau on your weekend!
P.S. One time Spin Magazine said Justin Vernon of, "Bon Iver", "looked like the human equivalent of IPA." This has nothing to do with anything. But it would be editorial malpractice to talk about IPAs and not bring this up.
The Ace Challenge
Ice Chest IPA by COOP Ale Works
If you are from out of state, Oklahoma was late to the microbrew game, but we caught up quick. We have a lot of talented breweries. COOP is one of them. They don’t make a bad beer. And this is an IPA you can drink all day as the flavor is lighter than most any other IPA (read: blunt force weapon) with low calories and lower alcohol. After riding 100 miles at lightning speed, you won’t need more than two to start feeling no pain and giggling like a 7th grader at their first mixer. After 100 miles, anything cold is all you want. But if you can find anything from COOP, it’s all going to be okay. A few of these and you will forget the sufferfest you just rode and start trying to remember where you left your bike at the finish line. Way to go on the Ace! You are amazing (and a little bonkers too).