Overall Rating
Overall Rating (5 Reviews)
3.8
(5 Ratings)(5 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.4
SCENERY
2.8
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
4.4
Run the Brew City Half Marathon & 10K to earn gear brewed for Milwaukee spring running and Milwaukee’s largest finisher’s medal! Then indulge in the finish line feast, featuring brats, beer and live music.
Local Weather (Sep 05):
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
 
H (°F) 80 76 68 85 65
L (°F) 68 60 51 65 54
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Recent reviews

    marxbk18 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This run from the lakefront to Glendale on the Oakleaf trail. A lot of it was in the shade. The rest stops had bottles of water and Gatorade. It was … MORE

    This run from the lakefront to Glendale on the Oakleaf trail. A lot of it was in the shade. The rest stops had bottles of water and Gatorade. It was nice but harder to run with the bottles for 2 miles or throw away a half full bottle. The course was pretty flat and the only issues I had was the mile before and after the turn around. The sidewalks there were in pretty bad shape. It was mostly an out and back with a bit of an offshoot for a few miles. The medal was top notch and the beer and brat after is always a welcome bonus.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    cmbrln7 FIRST-TIMER '21

    This race is typically in April; however, the race was pushed to September in 2021 due to covid. The race starts at a marina and follows a paved path with … MORE

    This race is typically in April; however, the race was pushed to September in 2021 due to covid. The race starts at a marina and follows a paved path with tons of shade from the September heat. I loved that it was not on any open roads. The route had plenty of water stops, but few porta potties (plenty at the start). The swag was great – zip up hoodie and large medal. Milwaukee is a fun town to spend a weekend.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    thestudadam FIRST-TIMER '19

    I had a really good time at this race, it is still a pretty new race but they are doing a lot of things right so far and with a … MORE

    I had a really good time at this race, it is still a pretty new race but they are doing a lot of things right so far and with a few tweaks they could make it great. This race seems to be getting more popular. For the half in the 4 years they have gone from 350->700->750->1000. There were also nearly 1000 people for each of the 5k and the 10k.

    I flew in for this race from Seattle a few days early so that we could visit my wife’s family near Madison. Driving to the race the morning of was seamless and easy, we tried to arrive at the start area an hour before the race.

    EXPO/Packet Pick Up: I can’t comment on the expo because I was staying so far away so I elected to pick up my packet the morning of the race at the start line. For this race there was no bag given away with goodies and advertisements. You just walked up to the gazebo with your bib number (which they provided on both a big pin up board and via email), and they gave you your bib with safety pins and your shirt. I was there an hour before the start and this process took me less than 1 minute. They made a point of saying picking up the day of is not recommended but with the size of the race still being ~1000 people it really wasn’t an issue. Maybe it would be harder if I was trying to pick up my packet 10 minutes before the start but personally I’d recommend picking your bib up at the course.

    Parking/Access: Getting to the start line couldn’t have been easier, it was less than a mile from the interstate and parking was directly next to the start area. Again I was there early so parking was still available but the closest lot was probably full 45 minutes before the race, they had maps posted on their website with other free lots which were all pretty close and they supposedly provided shuttles.

    T-Shirts/SWAG: I really liked the shirts and Medals for this race. The shirt was a half zip pullover which is really soft and would likely be great for colder training runs and races. It is very simple with just a small race logo in the top corner so it is easily something that you could wear around outside of a running event and not feel out of place. Looking at some of the past medals for this race I was not really a fan but I really liked the medal this year. It was in the shape of Wisconsin (as someone trying to run in as many states as possible I really appreciate this) and had the roof of the very unique Milwaukee Art Museum on it. There is also a picture of a beer and a bratwurst which were things they were giving away at the finish line. I was fortunate enough to place third in my age group which also earned me a much smaller version of the finishers medal with a description of what it was for on the back. The only minor critique I would make on the medal is that they all say 5k/10k/Half, the smaller the distance the smaller the medal they gave out and the medals for the half had some color on them that the 5k medal did not. I would prefer that my medal just said half marathon so it was easier to distinguish what it was for, but that is really nitpicking.

    Aid Stations: The Aid stations were spaced at 1.5 miles and then about every 2 miles the rest of the way. I had no issues with the stations but I was up front with few people around. The volunteers all did a great job calling out who had Gatorade and who had water. The aid stations were a bit small though in terms of number of volunteers so (just assuming no first hand knowledge) things would have gotten a bit crowded and the volunteers would have trouble keeping up when the big part of the pack of runners was showing up. My other critique of the aid stations was that they need to put a big garbage can with a volunteer ~100 feet past the water stations so people would toss their cups there. With no obvious place to throw things cups were getting tossed everywhere which would be a pain for the volunteers to clean up and it just felt weird littering like that in a park.

    Course Scenery/Elevation Difficulty: At this time of year the course is not especially pretty because there are no leaves on the trees. You start in a park on Lake Michigan then quickly run up an overpass and are then on a greenbelt along a river for ~12 of the 13 miles. The bike path is nice and so is the river but until the trees start to come alive this place isn’t anywhere near as pretty as it will be during the summer. The course itself is extremely flat which makes it pretty fast. It is an out and back with most of it along the exact same path which I assume led to some traffic issues near the turn around point which the larger pack of runners were going through. It is a slight uphill on the way out which pays you back with a downhill on the return, very gentle so nothing that really hurts your stride or pace too much.

    Weather: The temperature and the wind did add a degree of difficulty. 15-20 mph gusts, probably expected so close to the lake. The temperature at the start was also a brisk 35. I had a running hat and running gloves which after getting warmed up a few miles in I tossed the hat to my family at mile 4 then tossed the gloves to them on the way back at mile 9. Very few spectators were on the course so that option wouldn’t be available to most people which probably made running in that temperature pretty tough due to either carrying gear back or being cold to start. I’m not from the area so I’m not sure if those temperatures are the norm for mid April, but the past 4 years the weather has been. 70 and sunny, 30 and snowing, 40 and raining, 35 and sunny so be prepared for anything.

    Race Management: Lots of good things to like about this race, a few things to improve.
    Things I liked: T-Shirts/Swag, Lots of Port-o-potties, they had everyone lined up by goal pace then called everyone who was <8 min mile pace (indicated by the color of the numbers on your bib) inside the start corral to start before everyone else I really appreciated the attempt to allow the faster people start more easily, Beer, Brats, and Cheese Curds at the finish, very tasty and very Wisconsin, top 3 by age group medals for all events
    Things to improve: The trail was not closed for public use, this wasn’t an issue during this race because it was so cold but people riding their bikes into a 1000 runners in the opposite direction can be dangerous, the finish line was a bit of a mess after you got your medal-they tried to combine all 3 races towards the same finishers area to get food and freebies but it was very hard to figure out what was where. All of the races started at the same gate, the half marathon people returned to the same gate while the 5 and 10k people used a different nearby gate to finish, all of this is fine but at least according to my wife who missed me finishing it was not made clear who finished where (in all fairness she could have not been listening but either way it could have been clearer for spectators. They also need to add some garbage cans near the water stations which I mentioned earlier.

    This was overall a very fun race that I would recommend, I feel like they are doing very well for a race that is only 4 years and with a few changes could be great.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
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    shawa2007 FIRST-TIMER '18

    The freezing temperatures and rain made this the toughest race I've ran!! The beer and brats at the end helped with my moral tremendously. The course was on an urban … MORE

    The freezing temperatures and rain made this the toughest race I’ve ran!! The beer and brats at the end helped with my moral tremendously. The course was on an urban paved trail.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    krykeroshea REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This year's Brewer's half had a dash of freezing rain but the race support was still there in strength to support us! I loved the new Oak Leaf trail route … MORE

    This year’s Brewer’s half had a dash of freezing rain but the race support was still there in strength to support us! I loved the new Oak Leaf trail route this year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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  1. Races
  2. Brew City Half Marathon, 10K & 5K