19510575_10211599593178044_4454629160544816731_n3 simple words that are the culmination each Thursday night with the Fishtown Beer Runners.  David April founded the club based on them after hearing about Dr. Manuel Castillo’s research at the University of Granada, Spain.  Year after year.  Thursday after Thursday.  A member of the group addresses the entire crowd to shout those words with beers raised high in the air.

I am not one who follows something instinctively and am a skeptic by nature.  Especially in large groups.  I’ll admit here and now that my first few runs with FBR did not have me raising my glass.  Can’t say that I thought it was silly or pointless but maybe it seemed too formal at the time.  I mean, really.  How often in your regular life do you make a toast or join in on one?

Wedding?  Sure.

Graduation?  Probably.

Birthday?  Maybe.

Random special occasion?  Possibly.

Honestly, it is a rare occasion that you find yourself in a group all toasting someone.  All the rarer when it is likely someone you have never met.  And here is why the toast that FBR does is a little different and many would say why it happens in the first place.

FBR at its heart is an all inclusive group and you will see this first hand when David gets up and after welcoming everyone, he then singles out the new runners by asking all of them to raise their hands.  They are then met with a round of applause and later will get to say their names as the whole group goes one by one shouting out who they are.  FBR tends to visit as many different establishments as possible throughout the year and while doing so will also raise funds and awareness to many charities and causes.

So why toast the Spanish Professor while somewhere in Philadelphia?

After meeting him at the first ever Beer Runners Summit, Manuel Castillo explained his thoughts to me and has come up with perhaps the best way of summarizing the toast.  How he sees it, he is not the one receiving the toast.  In fact, no one person whatsoever is.  We are all toasting to each other and to the special occasion that is that particular night at that particular location where many of us ran from all over the area and perhaps raised funds but we certainly raised our glasses in honor of all things that made it possible for us to be together.

It is rather comforting to know that you can count on those 3 words to be shouted 52 times a year with the Fishtown Beer Runners and however many more times with each additional chapter that chooses to do so.

Not only has the skeptic in me changed his ways, but I have now had the honor to lead the toast a couple of times.  Cheers.

We are the Fishtown Beer Runners.

Responsible running and drinking in the interest of science.

We are thankful to be here and would like to welcome all the new runners.

And as is the tradition of the Fishtown Beer Runners…  

To the Professor!