Sunday, July 28, 2013

Discretion the better part of valor at Wharf to Wharf

Finishers at the 2013 Wharf to Whaft
On a cool, overcast morning on the Santa Cruz coast watching the long parade of runners finishing the Wharf to Wharf race, I was glad to be on the sidelines.  Despite the festive atmosphere, I've always found Wharf to Wharf to be an intense race.  A loud canon "boom!" releases the runners from the starting line and a clawing mass of 15,000 runners wind through six miles over the streets of Santa Cruz to the music of the punk, classic rock, folk and heavy metal bands assembled along the course.  I'm coming back from a heel injury and taking a bit of running layoff, and just didn't feel ready to take on that challenge. But my wife and her friend had a different point of view, which is why I was there to cheer them on at the finish.

I watched the leaders gliding to the finish line, followed by the next hundred or so stern looking athletes chugging home.  Every so often, a runner would give a thumbs up sign to the photographers taking race pictures.  More and more runners begin mugging for the cameras until virtually every runner passing by raised their arms in victory before bringing it home for the last 200 meters.  It made me realize for the overwhelming majority of runners, Wharf to Wharf is a celebration, not necessarily a challenge.  So while I'm glad I sat this one out, I'm planning to run Wharf to Wharf next year.  I may not be up for the challenge of pushing myself hard for six miles, but I'd like to join the celebration again

And what better way to celebrate a race than with a beer.  Discretion Brewing is the newest brewery in Santa Cruz's burgeoning brewing scene and their Soquel tap room is only 2-3 miles from the Wharf to Wharf finish line.  Their First Conversation Sesion won Silver at the California State Fair, so I figured they must be doing something right.
Yours truly and my wife about to enjoy a sample flight
at Discretion Brewing

My wife and I enjoyed a sample flight of five beers and enjoyed one well crafted selection after another.  Discretion uses only organic ingredients, so the yeast and malt tends to do more of the talking in their beers.  I like the way Discretion creates beers that a complex and flavorful without hitting you over the head with strong flavors.  Among the four of us, I'd have to say the favorite was their Third Conversation, an amber session where the lightly toasty malt combines wonderfully with a light touch of orange and coriander.  At 4.3% abv, it's a session beer that makes you briefly say "wow" before getting back to the conversation at hand.   All I can say is you're going to read more about Discretion here.

Discretion is further proof that beer, just like running, can be enjoyed in many forms.

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