The inaugural Nanaimo Beer Run is April 23. The event took place in several cities across Canada in 2016 including Toronto, as pictured above. Photo Contributed

The inaugural Nanaimo Beer Run is April 23. The event took place in several cities across Canada in 2016 including Toronto, as pictured above. Photo Contributed

Vancouver Island brews on tap during Nanaimo Beer Run

Inaugural Nanaimo Beer Run features samples from five Vancouver Island breweries

Dress up as a superhero, Gumby, a My Little Pony or whatever you want.

Grab some friends. Lace up your shoes. Run. Drink beer.

It’s the premise of the Canada Beer Run and this year will see the inaugural Nanaimo Beer Run on April 23.

Guy Exley, event manager with Impact Event Group, said it is about enjoying great beer, socializing and camaraderie.

“It’s not about the running. The running just gets you from beer to beer,” said Exley. “It’s about celebrating craft breweries.”

Organized by inStride Event Management Inc., beer run events take place in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Kitchener/Waterloo and Nanaimo is currently the only city in western Canada to host the event.

Exley said costumes weren’t part of the event’s original concept, but people just started showing up wearing superhero capes and it caught on.

“It adds to a fun event,” he said.

Exley has a good friend in Nanaimo and asked the management company if it was interested in hosting the Nanaimo event. Five Vancouver Island Breweries signed on this year’s event: Longwood Brewery, Riot Brewing, Red Arrow Brewing, White Sails Brewing and Wolf Brewing Company.

“Everyone was super excited about the event and bringing it to Nanaimo,” said Exley.

A maximum of 500 people can register and waves of 125 people will depart at different start times throughout the day, staggered at 20- to 30-minute intervals. At each stop, participants will receive a six-ounce beer sample. Participants will only receive one sample per stop.

Exley said it’s not about people overindulging. There are race attendants stationed along the route with water and first aid attendants to ensure people keep hydrated and safe.

The course starts at Longwood Brewery with the first stop at Bowen Park, which features samples from Riot Brewing. The second stop is at White Sails Brewing and the third is at the Taphouse Restaurant with samples from Red Arrow Brewing. The finish line is at Wolf Brewing. The event is for participants 19 years old or older.

Partial proceeds will be donated to the Harewood Neighbourhood Association for its youth park project at Harewood Centennial Park.

The registration fee for the event is $64.98.

For more information, to register, or for event guidelines, please visit

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