Marathon Monday is fast approaching and lots of folks are gearing up to run the 26.2 mile course from Hopkinton to Back Bay; even more will be gathering on the sidelines to cheer on family, friends, and athletes. When it’s all said and done, finishers will celebrate their accomplishment with a well- deserved beer. The really savvy racers will be cracking open a can that was created just for the occasion by the team at ZēLUS, a local brewery that specializes in brews that are both thirst quenching and restorative.
It was January of 2015 when Geoffrey Peddler—an avid runner, swimmer, and triathlete—noticed that after his races, people were always handing him congratulatory beers (instead of water, or Gatorade) as soon as he crossed the finish line. He wondered if he could make something equally as rewarding, that would also provide water to re-hydrate the body, salt to retain water, and carbohydrates to fuel energy—a beer that would help, not hinder, recovery after a long race.
“I thought there was an opportunity in the market, did some research, and discovered there weren’t many beers designed for that purpose,” said Peddler. He teamed up with friend, PH.D. chemist, and home-brewer, Jon Goldstein and the duo created what they call “active friendly” beer—beer that’s recuperative, yet jam-packed with flavor. And so, ZēLUS Beer Company (appropriately named after the Greek spirit of competition and rivalry) came to fruition.
Since then, the Medfield-based team at ZēLUS has rolled out five different styles of beer including Long Run (an unfiltered Apricot Pale Ale using real apricot puree), Lyte Speed (A Belgian wit beer with cinnamon and grapefruit peel perfect for springtime sips), and Peddler’s personal favorite, Race Pace (a blend between a New England IPA and an English Mild Ale that clocks in at 3.7% ABV). While all ZēLUS brews maintain low ABV (alcohol by volume) levels in order to stay hydrating, they manage to surpass the consequential challenge of becoming too watery or flavorless—a cardinal sin to the craft-brew lover. The secret? “We use brewing salts to adjust water levels and improve the flavor of lower ABVs,” Peddler says. Brewing salts are essential tools in modifying one of the most important ingredients in beer: water. One brewing salt ZēLUS uses, calcium chloride, helps increase the thickness of water, preventing the beer from becoming unpleasantly runny.
Although these beers are now readily available at over 100 retailers, liquor stores, and bars all around Eastern Massachusetts (check out the complete list here), Peddler hopes to open his own tap-room in the near future (so keep your eyes peeled!). In the meantime, the brewery is keeping busy sponsoring races around Boston, and debuting their pop-up beer garden at The Corner Spot in Ashland. To show support for all of the marathoners, they’ll be extending their hours on Marathon Monday, where craft beer imbibers and athletes alike can connect over a refreshing brew. You can find all of the thirst-quenching details here.