AJW’s Taproom – One Year Later

A look back at the first year of AJW’s Taproom as well as a look forward to the next year.

By on October 5, 2012 | Comments

AJWs TaproomThis week’s column marks the one-year anniversary of AJW’s Taproom. An idea hatched by Bryon and I at the bar of the Devil’s Backbone Brewpub in Nellysford, Virginia has resulted in a year’s worth of reflection and commentary that I have found both exciting and constructive. For the last 52 weeks, every Friday, a Taproom column has appeared on this site. Along the way I have written about course records, flow, rules, Hal Koerner, prize money, brain research, the Barkley, Western States, and a wide variety of other rambling topics. To be honest, AJW’s Taproom has given a voice to some of my deepest on-the-run ruminations. In short, it’s been a blast!

AJW's Taproom - First Anniversary

Celebrating the first anniversary of AJW’s Taproom at the place of its conception.

The fundamental idea of the column has been to provide a weekly check-in place for runners. A Friday Happy Hour, of sorts. A place where a topic could be explored that you might want to discuss and expand on during your next group run or over a couple of pints at your local watering hole. Of course, I’ve had the added fun of introducing a Beer of the Week each Friday and even though some readers have been a bit put-off by my bias toward India Pale Ale in general the commentary about beer has been a nice complement to the commentary on running. It is not our intent, necessarily, to generate commentary or foment controversy in this column. Rather, by giving iRunFar.com an editorial component we feel we are expanding our foundation and providing helpful food for thought.

Looking ahead to Year Two, we are excited to continue what we’ve started. As most readers have noticed, the columns in the Taproom tend to fall into two categories: first there are the analytical discussions about such things as prize money, course markings, and race results and then there are the reflective pieces on patience, acceptance, contentment, and the like. I enjoy both types of editorials, but would like to know from readers what you’ve enjoyed most in this first year of the Taproom. Additionally, in Year Two I am hoping to create a new free podcast series, “the Best of AJW’s Taproom” in which we create some audio files of some of your favorite articles. More on that later…

So, here’s to another great year of AJW’s Taproom! Thank you one and all for reading the column and being such loyal supporters of iRunFar.com

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week
3 Floyds Alpha King Pale AleThis week’s Beer of the Week comes from 3 Floyds Brewing Company in Munster, Indiana just down the road from my brother’s house in Chicago. 3 Floyds’ Alpha King is a loaded American Pale Ale that tastes a little bit like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on steroids. It’s just barely sessionable with a nice sweet start and a kick at the finish. It’s not available too many places, so if you find some buy a bunch!

Call for Comments (from Bryon)

  • What have been your favorite AJW’s Taproom articles this past year?
  • Any particular type of article that tickles your fancy on a regular basis?
Andy Jones-Wilkins

Andy Jones-Wilkins is an educator by day and has been the author of AJW’s Taproom at iRunFar for over 11 years. A veteran of over 190 ultramarathons, including 38 100-mile races, Andy has run some of the most well-known ultras in the United States. Of particular note are his 10 finishes at the Western States 100, which included 7 times finishing in the top 10. Andy lives with his wife, Shelly, and Josey, the dog, and is the proud parent of three sons, Carson, Logan, and Tully.