By: Wayne Newton
There’s hot yoga and goat yoga, but the tastiest path to a better mind, body, and soul might involve beer.
Anderson Craft Ales in east London is one of a growing number of craft breweries clearing the tables in the tap room to make room for yoga mats.
Enthusiasts of the downward dog – the inverted V pose known even by beginners – are led through various poses with a glass of craft beer at their side or even in hand. Need a break from the class? Have a seat and take a sip.
“Both yoga and beer have been used for centuries as a therapy for mind, body, and soul, so it makes sense to offer them as a combined experience,” said Gavin Anderson, owner and brewmaster. “We have found that yoga can sometimes be intimidating for beginners, so this is our way of making yoga more fun and approachable. Additionally, the literal translation of ‘yoga’ is joining or uniting, and what better way to do that than to socialize with a beer after class.”
It might also be a less intimidating way to get more men involved.
At Anderson, classes are held on a second floor mezzanine which overlooks the fermenters. Classes are scheduled outside of regular hours to ensure an uninterrupted, tranquil experience.
The floorspace fits 20 people, so signing up in advance is recommended. Fees include a glass of beer. Anderson is hosting eight sessions of beer yoga on Sunday mornings now through mid-September for $15 per class.
Combining fitness with socializing over beer is not new for the two-year-old brewery.
Every Wednesday, a run club departs Anderson at 6:30 p.m. for a 2.5 or 5 kilometre run, in groups or at your own pace.
A 65-member team featuring five family members and Anderson patrons took part in the annual MS bicycle ride to Grand Bend and back, raising almost $70,000, according to the team’s MS Bike page.
Anderson isn’t alone in morphing their tap rooms into de facto community centres.
Among the many other diverse events at local breweries have been paint nights, make-your-own mug, and stargazing at Forked River Brewing.
London Brewing hosts euchre nights on Wednesdays and as part of Throwback Thursdays, a Dungeons and Dragons game. Trivia nights for a charity are held often.
Keeping tabs on brewery community events is best done through their social media accounts. With space limitations, registration is usually necessary.