Beer & Running: Brewing up a Runner’s Dream

10 Barrel Brewing Co. founders Jeremy and Chris Cox are avid runners. Their brew pub has a running club that meets between every morning and often includes several employees. Photo: Courtesy of 10 Barrel Brewing Co.

10 Barrel Brewing in Bend, Ore. was founded by sibling runners

According to many runners, the best way to end a run is with an ice-cold beer, which is why the lives of Jeremy and Chris Cox, 36, should be the envy of runners everywhere. The identical twin brothers and running buddies co-own the rapidly growing Bend, Ore.-based 10 Barrel Brewing Co., and most often the brothers’ days begin with running and end with beer.

“I get up early in the morning, leave the house at 6:30 to meet my brother, run 4 to 8 miles and then to head into work to start working and drinking — the drinking is not as bad as it sounds,” says Jeremy Cox, with a laugh about the beer tasting required in his line of work.

And while Cox is quick to point out that he doesn’t drink as much beer as it might appear during the work week, his post-run Monday meetings are a lot more ‘lighthearted’ than they are for the rest of us – they involve, well, beer. “We do drink more than is common,” Cox says.

The 240 brewery employees also run a lot more than is common.

“Most of the employees here are runners,” Chris Cox says. “Our brew pub has a running club that meets between 7-7:30 a.m., and a lot of people run from the pub every morning—there’s usually between 10 and 20 people running together.”

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The Cox brothers also put together a relay team for this month’s Cascade Lakes Relay, a 200-plus-mile overnight relay that ends in Bend.

Most of the runners on the team work at the brewery, which also serves as one of the craft beer sponsors at the finish line. Jeremy Cox says the brewery’s involvement in Bend’s endurance scene is all part of owning a business in Bend, which is renowned for its residents’ love for all things outdoors.

“It sort of fits well with everybody’s brand here in central Oregon,” Jeremy says. His brewery sponsors about three endurance or outdoor events every month.

RELATED: How Beer And Running Intersect Naturally, being twin brothers who work and run together can create a little competition. The brothers grew up playing sports together and grew to love running after they graduated from college. And while Chris will tell you that he’s not competitive enough to win races, he’s “overly competitive in spirit” when it comes to beating his brother.

“Every once in a while we’ll sneak in a run without telling the other one, to get an advantage, especially if there’s a race coming up,” Chris admits.

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When asked to consider who is a better runner for this story, Jeremy says he and Chris got into a fight about it but concluded, “It switches back and forth, who usually wins.”

Chris has a slightly different story. He admits that Jeremy is better on hills, but the race winner often depends on who has trained more. Then he pauses for a second and says, “I’m a better runner than him — I’m faster.” Faster? Maybe. Living every runner’s dream? Certainly.

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