I was fortunate enough to begin my racing season at a race that has been only known in the local area but could start to grow with having the ability to expand their racing from previous years.

I attended the Brewser 3 which is hosted by one of the local breweries called the Appalachian Brewing Company.  Not only is it pretty neat that you can eat and drink plenty after your race, but that the race begins and ends in the parking lot of the brewery/restaurant. The course takes racers through a varied array of surfaces from the parking lot asphalt, to the grass fields throughout the course.  But the biggest surprise is where the race goes, which is a real rock quarry that you end up racing to the bottom as part of your obstacles in the race.  I will get to that more in a bit.

Appalachian Brewing Company, Mechanicsburg, PA

Brewser 3 by Appalachian Brewing Company

The race offered plenty of heats for racers, including all of the race below.  The great one is the Root Beer Run, which was free to all kids 4-7.  The parking was also free with plenty of areas to park close to the start/finish.

Kids Root Beer Run – ¾ mile with fun obstacles – Ages 4 – 7 Free
Tweens Birch Beer Run – 1.5 miles with fun obstacles Ages 8-14 (Participants were shown below)

Hoppy Trails – Competitive Race! 5.5 Mile Elite
Mountain Lager Pace – Just For Fun 5K (11 am start)
Outta Focus – Team Run 5K (noon pm start)

I raced the Hoppy Trails to see the longer course and what they had in store for us.   The race was well coordinated at the beginning, but the racers were a bit off when entering the first area of the course.   Once they were straightened out, we were on our way!!  The race felt more like a basic running race at the start (we went about a half mile or more before really hitting any obstacle) with just a couple of lighter obstacles to start (rock climb, water pit).  We did a bit more road running before we got back on the trail course.  The race had many familiar obstacles (spear throw, net climb, cinder block drag) thrown in with some slightly different obstacles (keg pull and drop, shown below, and the rock barrel throw) to keep the racers tested. Also, the organizers also set up unique challenges for the team racers in the later heat.

The race covered mostly flat, rolling fields with obstacles, which would place the race in the category as introductory.  Many obstacles were familiar, and with the amount of racers there were definitely some backups due to limited racer access (net climb, pallet drag).  Most of the obstacles were not challenging to complete for most racers, so there wouldn't be many racers dropping out, and the penalties for missing on certain obstacles was a nice change (20 push-ups for a spear throw miss). But the big attraction to this race was the chance to run directly into the base of a full rock quarry, with the rocky dirt path leading to the center of the quarry pit. Once there we were treated to the bucket carry, a flat but long distance for racers to endure.  Once the bucket was done, you had to climb the long, hard climb out of the pit to get to the reaming obstacles on the course.  The course led right back to the ABC brewery, where racers were treated to a post-race pasta meal with some great ABC beer offerings.  The race packet also was unique, as well as the bottle opener finisher's medal!!

Overall, the race was an excellent introductory course for anyone who wants to try out an OCR race but doesn't want to spend a fortune to try one out.  The difficulty level of the race wasn't high, but the atmosphere, overall cost and easy access to the course are tough to beat.   For racers looking for an extremely difficult course, or highly difficult obstacles, this is not your race.  This is a runner's course, but there are enough challenges along the way to keep you busy.

I also would review some of the obstacles for safety (net climb support cable was metal and very sharp which cut some racers, spots on the wooded course racers might slip downhills) but overall the race was fun and a great addition to my racing season.


I would give the Brewser 3 an overall rating of 3.5 out of 5.  Lots of things done well, but some areas they can improve on to make this an annual required race.


Mike in His Own Words



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Rating: 3.5/5


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