I don’t run marathons, but I can still drink a Marathon Brewing 26.2 Brew and appreciate what it’s made to do. Developed in partnership with brewer/long-distance runner Shelley Smith and Samuel Adams, 26.2 Brew is formulated as a recovery beer, meant to be served with a reflective thermal blanket. But it has the same appeal for couch potatoes and weekend warriors alike.
26.2 Brew is immediately recognizable as a runner’s beer. Labeled with the signature blue and yellow of the Boston Marathon, the bottle even sports the storied race’s logo on the front. The beer itself is a crisp golden brown—more a bronze medal than a gold. Up top is a masterfully delicate cushion of foam. It never abates. Even the last leg of the beer is topped with a wisp of lace.
26.2 is technically a gose, though Marathon doesn’t dare market it as such. You can smell the light kettle sour acidity right away. You get a whiff of musty lemon off the top, but there’s not much underneath. Beers of this style should have more in the nose, but 26.2 is made for fast, eager consumption. No time to bury your nose in it.
You don’t need to don five-inch shorts to enjoy 26.2 Brew.”
Be careful—these go down automatically. The sea salt addition cuts the light tartness, making every sip lead directly into the next. The lemon re-emerges in the flavor, giving 26.2 a slight pucker. The advertised coriander is conspicuously absent, but it’s not missed. The last thing you want after two dozen miles on your feet is a mouthful of spice.
You don’t need to don five-inch shorts to enjoy 26.2 Brew. Pry a cap off and suck one down after mowing the lawn. Take a 24-ounce can into the shower with you. You’ll get the same salty satisfaction no matter your activity level. It might taste better after crossing the finish line in a pair of melting Nikes, but anyone who enjoys a kick of refreshment will relish 26.2 Brew—no nipple chafing necessary.