Exercise at Local Breweries and Wineries
These group fitness classes give new meaning to the word “cooldown.”
It’s a familiar sight every January: Gyms crowded with new members and the sidewalks packed with runners who are doing their best to make good on their New Year’s resolution to exercise, prioritize fitness, or lose weight. But by the time March rolls around, many of those well-intentioned souls have slid back into old habits and routines that include hitting the couch more often than hitting the gym.
That’s why we invite you to make a different kind of resolution this spring, one that involves working out, trying something new, and indulging in some locally made beer or wine. Throughout the North Shore and beyond, some of our favorite breweries and wineries are offering not only tasty tipples but also fitness classes and events for their patrons.
You can find classes close to home at Oak & Iron Brewing Co. in Andover, which offers “everything from kickboxing to yoga to general fitness” classes on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings, according to Jim Cass, the brewery’s president. Or head south to Somerville, where you’ll find boot camps and yoga at Aeronaut Brewing Company. Plenty of wineries and breweries hold special one-off events, too, so be sure to keep an eye on their calendars.
Here’s a closer look at a few more.
Bent Water Brewing Co., Lynn
Lots of breweries offer yoga with their beers; but not many actually include the beers in the yoga routine itself. Yogis at the twice-monthly Yoga in the Taproom event at Bent Water Brewing Co. actually incorporate the beer of their choice from any on tap at the end of the class during the final pose, Warrior II, says Robin Leopoldo, the brewery’s social media and brand manager. “They get into the pose and then drink a taster from the arm that is up in the air,” she says. There’s also the Thunder Squad Running Club, which comes back to the taproom for a beer after their weekly run around town. Look for favorite beers like the Boris peanut butter and chocolate porter, as well as seasonal beers like the double IPA “Kathleen,” coming in March. Yoga classes 11 a.m. to noon on Saturdays twice monthly ($8 for yoga and beer); run club Thursdays 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. (check website for dates and details); bentwaterbrewing.com
Willow Spring Vineyards, Haverhill
With its rustically beautiful and sustainably powered 18th-century barn nestled among woodlands and vines, Willow Spring Vineyards in Haverhill is always an idyllic spot for wine tastings and other events. But add yoga into that picture and things get even more blissful. Local yoga teacher Sheila Wescott leads the classes there, which are an hour long and are held outside near the winery’s outdoor fire pit during nice weather but move into the barn when the weather’s not cooperating. Her vinyasa flow yoga classes are made even more peaceful and invigorating by the beautiful atmosphere. “For anyone who is a yogi…doing it outside brings a whole other element to the experience of yoga,” she says. After class, attendees are invited inside the barn, which features a wide deck overlooking trees, for a $5 wine tasting of wines like cabernet franc or Vidal blanc by the glass. Seasonal monthly yoga classes; $20 for yoga, plus $5 for wine tasting; willowspringvineyards.com
Throwback Brewery, North Hampton, New Hampshire
Known for its “farm-fresh beer and food,” Throwback Brewery is located on a 12-acre farm that supplies about half of the produce for its onsite farm-to-table restaurant, according to its co-founder and president Nicole Carrier. The yoga classes that the brewery hosts every Sunday at 11 a.m. are incredibly popular and are taught by local teacher Laurel Crawford. During warmer months, the classes are held outside in the fields; they move indoors when the weather cools. The $5 price tag covers the hour-long yoga class, and since the brewery opens at noon on Sunday, many attendees choose to stay for lunch or a beer, like the Spicy Bohemian jalapeno pilsner and Fat Alberta chocolate peanut butter imperial stout. “Some people make it a weekly thing, which is nice,” says Carrier. Throwback Brewery has also hosted cycling and paddleboarding events; watch their website and social media for details. Weekly yoga classes; $5 plus cost of beer and food; throwbackbrewery.com
Mill River Winery, Rowley
Mill River Winery’s seasonal yoga classes get attendees moving and stretching outside right among the 300 grapevines and apple trees. “Yoga is [the] perfect because they can take advantage of our vineyard,” says Laura Schonemann, the winery’s events and wine club manager. Afterward, attendees are invited to sample Mill River Winery’s wines, like its award-winning Naked Chardonnay, so named due to the fact that it’s cold-fermented in 100-percent stainless steel tanks. The $35 cost includes the hour-long yoga class plus a wine tasting, cheese and crackers, and charcuterie, either inside or on the pretty patio. This year, also look for Mill River’s new hard cider, pressed from its own apples. Classes held periodically through spring, summer, and fall; $35 for class and tasting; check social media for upcoming dates; millriverwines.com