It’s Thanksgiving. You’ve probably traveled. Even if you didn’t descend upon someone else’s house, someone probably descended upon yours. The result is always the same: Come Friday after Thanksgiving, you’re ready to get out of whatever house you spent the prior day over-indulging in, and go do …something. Traditionally in America, this has meant waking up at an obscene pre-dawn hour to go wait in huge lines at big box stores to get a discount on a flat screen tv you didn’t exactly need. We at Bikabout feel there’s a better way to spend Black Friday.
The basic premise is correct: You DO need to get out of the house on Friday after Thanksgiving. You’ve been sitting for entirely too many hours in one day. You’ve been cooped up with a lot of people who were chosen as dinner mates for you by genetics, not by careful selection on your part. So when your gut tells you “it’s time to get out of the house,” your gut is correct. The question is…
What would you like to do on Black Friday? Would you like to buy cheaply-made stuff you don’t need, or would you like to support hard-working local craft brewers? (Hint: one comes with booze and good vibes. The other one comes with cheap crap and regret.)
We’d like to suggest that you go a-drinkin’, but that you do it in Bikabout style. And honestly, there’s no better way to go drinkin’ than on a bike. It means you pretty much can’t commit vehicular homicide, and that you have a strong incentive to stay sober enough to operate a bicycle. We began this tradition last year in St. Louis, Missouri, while visiting good friends who live there. St. Louis has a thriving craft beer scene, and we collectively decided to spend our Black Friday biking all over the town sampling the best new beers St Louis had to offer (we were pleasantly impressed!). We all enjoyed the day greatly, and searching the internet on this Thanksgiving a year later, we have discovered that we’re not alone.
Below, we present a list of cities and breweries who have also realized what we’ve realized… Black Friday is a perfect time to reconnect with the local brewmasters in your town. You get to put your dollars into your local economy, to make some new friends, and to help bury the memory of boring, fizzy, yellow, mass-market lagers a little farther underground.
- Athens - Creature Comforts, Terrapin
- Boston - Aeronaut, Night Shift, Trillium
- Charleston - Westbrook
- Chicago - Haymarket
- Denver - Crooked Stave Barrel Cellar, Great Divide
- Fort Collins - New Belgium
- Madison - Ale Asylum, One Barrel
- Minneapolis - Bauhaus, Dangerous Man, Fulton, Sociable Cider Werks
- NYC - Brooklyn Brewery, Sixpoint
- Portland - Hair of the Dog, Cascade
- San Diego - Green Flash, Ballast Point, AleSmith
- Seattle - Fremont, Pike
- St. Louis - Urban Chestnut, Alpha Brewing
- Vancouver - Granville Island, Postmark