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Running is a great way to burn off calories — the unfortunately plentiful by-products of drinking beer. Thankfully, the Wisconsin Brewery Running Series is here to help.

For the second year in a row, those in the Milwaukee area who count both beer and running among their favorite things will be blessed with a full slate of beer-tastic 5K runs in 2018. The series’ nine runs start this weekend and end in November. Expect them to be a hit: last year, more than 850 runners took part in 10 local runs.

“The first season in Milwaukee was a huge success,” said Christina Sprader of the Wisconsin Brewery Running Series. “Our overall goal is to create a community that combines physical activity and builds connections with local businesses, all while highlighting local charities. As with any community, we really need to thank the many people who showed up to run and drink good beer, our awesome breweries for creating great spaces to enjoy their delicious beer, and our local business partners and nonprofits who are doing great things in Milwaukee.”

The Brewery Running Series began in Minnesota in 2012 at Fulton Brewery in Minneapolis. Founders Morgan Jappe and Nate Herrington wanted to create something fun that could give back to the community. The group branched out quickly and now hosts runs in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. A portion of each $30 registration fee is donated to a local non-profit. The group’s goal is to surpass $100,000 in donations in 2018.

This year’s schedule starts with a kickoff party at InStep Physical Therapy and Running Center (403 E. Buffalo St.) on Saturday, Mar. 23, from 5 to 7 p.m. Attendees get discounts on run registrations and free beer.

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“We are looking forward to seeing so many familiar faces at this year’s runs as well as some new faces, participants, breweries and partners,” added Sprader. “We love running through the Milwaukee-area neighborhoods and are excited to expand to Waukesha and Madison this year.”

The running series is not reinventing the wheel from last year — the agenda for each event will once again feature a 5k run/walk starting at a brewery and ending with (what else?) beer. This year organizers have added new merchandise, Brew Crew memberships and additional experiences on event day.

“But the focus of the Brewery Running Series will always remain,” Sprader said. “‘Be Active. Have fun. Give back.'”

Wisconsin Brewery Running Series Schedule

March 24: Kickoff Party at InStep Physical Therapy and Running Center, 5-7 p.m.

May 6: Karben4 Brewing (3698 Kinsman Blvd., Madison), 9 a.m.

May 20: Third Space Brewing (1505 W. St. Paul Ave.), 11 a.m.

June 2: Big Head Brewing (6204 W. State St.), noon.

June 24: MobCraft Brewing (505 S. 5th St.), 11 a.m.

July 14: Raised Grain Brewing (2244 W. Bluemound Rd., Waukesha), 11 a.m.

July 28: City Lights Brewing (2210 W. Mt. Vernon Ave.), 11 a.m.

Sept. 8: Lakefront Brewery (1872 N. Commerce St.), 9 a.m.

Oct. 13: Third Space Brewing, 11 a.m.

Nov. 17: Big Head Brewing, noon.

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