It's the New Year, when most of us gluttons express remorse over the gorging we've been doing since Thanksgiving, and make resolutions to become a little less round. Many diet gurus won't be promoting craft beer as weight-loss tools, but that doesn't mean you should eschew your friendly local brewery for a sweat-smelling gym. That's right; many Charlotte breweries have workout plans that go way beyond your stereotypical 12-ounce curls. If you follow these instructions exactly, you might be able to find an exercise regimen that you can live with, versus one you ritually and unceremoniously discard in February.
It's important to note that there's something getting worked out nearly every day of the week at Charlotte-area breweries, and I don't mean just patrons' livers. So, there goes your "I just can't find the time" excuse. Also, don't worry about your current shape; all programs are tiered to accommodate varying skill levels, which should also rule out your "I don't think I'll fit in" excuse. Lastly, unless otherwise indicated, everything's free — so much for financial reasons holding you back from supporting craft beer while you get back into shape.
On Tuesday, grab your yoga mat and head to Olde Mecklenburg Brewery on Yancey Road; they play host to Yoga on Tap from 6:30 to 7:30. This Lululemon-sponsored class is rated for yogis of all levels. In warmer months, attendees stretch out in the palatial green space the new location affords them. In cooler weather, the party moves into one of the private event rooms. As such, space can be limited, and early arrivals are encouraged.
For you folks north of Charlotte, Huntersville's D9 Brewing also hosts Tuesday night yoga with Detox to Retox, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Also rated for all levels, $10 lands you not only a one-hour session, but also a D9 pint of your choice.
Wednesday, come join the venerable NoDa Run Club at NoDa Brewing for jaunts around the neighborhood, starting at 6:30. Courses are offered in 1-, 3- or 5-mile increments, depending on your capability. Leashed dogs are also welcome, and quite common. The brewery steps its post-run beer game up, too, offering the ability to pre-order a beer to enjoy right when you get back from the trail. Food trucks are also on-site for your post-workout carb-loading needs.
If working out on a Thursday evening is more your speed, Charlotte's breweries have you covered, too. Triple C Brewing has two different programs starting at 6:30, depending on whether you prefer running outside or achieving enlightenment on a yoga mat. Triple C Beer Runners gives you a self-guided on-foot tour of South End, with offered increments of 3, 4 and 5 miles. Indoors, the Yoga Dude offers a $5 class, with a pint of Triple C beer included as part of the package.
Also on every other Thursday, nearby Unknown Brewing breaks the running/yoga mold, offering Brewlates at 6:30 in its brewhouse. Molly's Pilates coordinates this class, and it is free to the public. In January, classes fall on the 8th and 22nd, but check the website for future occurrences.
Let's get to the weekend, shall we? On Saturdays, wake up with a nice glass of kombucha as you atone for your Friday night sins and join the folks at Lenny Boy at 10 a.m. for an hour of vinyasa yoga in the taproom. Each session runs only five bucks, which also includes a 6-ounce pour of organic 'booch. Later that afternoon, grab your bike and head to Unknown for the weekly Bike and Brew cycling event. Intervals of 10, 25 or 35 miles take you around town, and groups leave the brewery at 2:30 p.m.
Finally, wrap up your week back at Lenny Boy on Sundays for its newly formed Run Club. Routes measure 1.5 and 3 miles through South End, starting at noon.
As you can see, it is possible to get into a non-round shape while frequenting local breweries. Forget about how their libations may have contributed to your waistline in the previous year; just be thankful that you can now enjoy a pint while getting fit in the process.