What’s better than a beer you earned? That first sip of a post-workout beer is like a sign of relief after a hard workout. Yeah you had water while you were working out, but now you know you earned your beer! You may wonder what are the best styles you should reach for after a workout. Well, as founder and CEO of Beer Fit Club, I have A LOT of experience with drinking post-workout beers so I compiled this list for you. As you know, like wine, beer comes in several varieties. With more ingredients and variables than wine, beers vary much from style to style. They can have 3% alcohol to upwards of 20% alcohol and can be a pale yellow to almost black. So here are some of the best styles of beer to reach for post-workout and I’ve even included some examples of each to check out both nationally and local to lower NY.
American Pale Ale (APA)
Duh, this one is a no-brainer. Easy drinking, not rich, but still has some flavor to bite into. Now what you may not know is that an American Pale Ale is a bit more hoppy than a traditional pale ale. Just because it’s hoppy though, doesn’t mean it will be bitter. Depending on the variety of hops used in the beer, it can add a citrusy flavor to the beer. APA’s are usually pretty low in alcohol, usually about 5% so you aren’t gonna catch a major buzz and will still be able to function like a normal person.
India Pale Ale (IPA)
This is either a love it or hate it style. But man, after running in the summer nothing hits the spot the same way as an IPA. It’s almost like drinking lemonade. Don’t immediately turn down the style if you had one or two you didn’t like. Just like I explained above, hops do not always equate to bitterness. An IPA can fall into like three camps: grassy, juicy, or balanced. If you tend to like the bitterness you’re gonna want a grassy IPA. Like citrus? Juicy is the way to go? Enjoy hops, but don’t want it to be the only flavor going on, well you’re gonna want a balanced IPA, maybe even and English style IPA.
Don’t get scared by the “ö”. This isn’t some weird scary beer. It’s the crispest cleanest beer you’ll drink. It’s a German style beer developed in Cologne Germany and technically it can’t be called a Kölsch unless it’t brewed it. But here in America, we don’t much care for rules. I had my first Kölsch at Plattduetsche Park Restaurant a few years ago in my beer writing days. I was reintroduced to it on my trip to Austin Texas a couple years back. The interesting thing is that a region and its’ climate can effect what people like to eat or drink. In Austin, it’s hot and dry. Hot weather calls for refreshing beverages. For refreshment and without a high alcohol amount, the Kolsch is king for refreshment!
Just like the Kölsch, a cream ale is made for easy drinking. Goes down like a dream. Not overly flavorful, not too much to bite into, but that’s the beauty of it. It’s simple. Without much in the way of alcohol it will also allow for drinking a few in a sitting. If you want more than one beer after a real hard workout, well this is the one you want. It’s session-able. It means you can drink more than one and not get drunk. It’s a beer drinkers beer.
National beers to try: Sweet Action (Sixpoint Brewing), Calm Before the Storm (Ballast Point Brewing) (Coffee Cream Ale)
Just like the Kölsch, a Lager or Pilsner is a German in origin and they’re both cold fermented beers. This means they ferment at cooler temperatures. From German immigration and the hot climate, it’s a popular style in Austin, Texas. Pilsners and Lagers are easy drinking and because of the low alcohol content, you can drink a few. I grouped these styles together because they’re so similar in flavor. They’re smooth, not much hop flavor and not an overly pronounced flavor at all. In a lager you can really taste the yeast used more than anything. Usually the yeast isn’t not overly noticeable, but in both these styles it can really shine. There is a slight bread-y taste to it at the end.
After working it sometimes you just want something a little light and fruity! Fruit beers can come in a variety of styles. Wheat beers, Sours, IPAs, APAs and more… but I will lump them all into one for ease of reading. It’s healthy, fruit does have vitamins…right?! Especially in the summer I reach for a citrus added pale ale or something with mango! Mmmmmm!
This is like the cold lemonade of beers. The Berliner Weisse is a tart German beer. It’s a sour, but don’t get too scared, they’re usually not super sour. Just a nice tartness like lemonade. This is the sour thirst quencher of champions! Another bonus Berliner Weisse beers are pretty low in alcohol. You don’t have to feel bad about having more than one on a hot day or after a really hard workout!