Behind The Scenes Of The Bronx Brewery

We pulled a 'Freaky Friday' experiment

Would you rather run a brewery or run three miles? The comparison might seem confusing, but stick with us—they both involve running, after all.

We recently pulled our own Freaky Friday, first asking head brewer and Bronx Brewery cofounder Damian Brown to run a 5K, something he hadn't done since high school. We then completed the exchange program by sending a marathon-running Tasting Table editor over to try running a brewery and make a batch of a light Belgian-style pale ale. Both tasks had their unique challenges.

Over at Bronx Brewery, we first ran 50-pound bags of grain through the milling machine to crush the grain kernels, after which a series of tubes brought the grain into a large mash tun. Workers have accidentally dropped things into the deep kettles before—never while beer is in them, Brown says—but let's just say they have a ladder on hand. After a series of separating, boiling, separating again and cooling, the liquid fermented with yeast and the process continued.

Brewing beer is an intricate process with many checkpoints for pH, liquid clarity and more. Things can go awry at every step, but Brown loves the uncertainty—especially compared to running, where "you could lose," he says. But comparing the two, Brown says, "I'll take the brewery—I'll do another 5K though."

That said, there's one thing we could both agree on: Running is way better when there's beer at the end.