Beer and wine’s latest pairing? Yoga

May 27, 2024 | D.C.'s newest fitness trend is causing quite the buzz (WTOP's Rachel Nania)

WASHINGTON — On the last Monday of every month, a crowd carrying brightly colored mats and water bottles gathers in the backroom of Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington, Virginia.

This group isn’t at the brewpub to eat and drink; they’ve come to work out.

With a view of the fermentation tanks in clear sight, roughly 15 yogis set down their mats and prepare for a one-hour vinyasa-style yoga session led by instructor Beth Wolfe. And they’re promised a reward at the end: beer.

“If I see people who have never practiced yoga before, or who are fairly new and struggling a little bit, I give them the countdown,” Wolfe says. “‘Twenty minutes until beer.’”

Wolfe has been leading the beer and yoga classes at Capitol City for five months and hosts similar events at DC Brau, Mad Fox Brewing Company and Oby Lee, an Arlington wine bar.

“I just noticed that there’s a synergy between yoga people and craft beer people and boutique wine people,” Wolfe says about her idea to launch the classes. She says much of that synergy stems from the desire to learn more about complex subjects.

“There’s a lot to learn in yoga. It’s a deep practice; it’s a never-ending practice; there’s always more to learn, and I feel like that’s the same thing with wine and with beer,” she says.

“You can taste an infinite number of beers and wines, and you can practice yoga for your entire life and never master it.”

Wolfe isn’t the only one who’s caught on to the growing interest in downward dogs and drinking. The Wall Street Journal reports more wineries are hosting fitness and tasting sessions — covering everything from yoga, to Pilates to boot camp classes.

Locally, Leesburg’s Stone Tower Winery holds yoga in the vineyard events, and every Tuesday, Alexandria’s Port City Brewing Company holds its two-hour Beer Yoga. Grip the Mat also hosts a regular Vinyasa to Vino event at Compass Coffee.

Wolfe says the combo classes are a great way to stay healthy and to meet new people.

“It’s a really social event. A lot of times people just stay and have something to eat. I know that it’s brought a lot of people together,” she says.

It’s also brought a new demographic to the practice.

“A lot of women bring husbands or boyfriends who were reluctant to try yoga, and they’re willing to try with the promise of a beer at the end,” Wolfe says.

Capitol City Brewing Company General Manager Al Chadsey says he’s hosted some unique events at the brewery in the past — like theology on tap — so when Wolfe proposed yoga, he didn’t hesitate.

He says the brewery’s yoga classes attract some regulars from the neighborhood, “but it also brings in people that wouldn’t necessarily think about doing yoga and having beer,” he says.

For the yogis, practicing in a brewery or a vineyard is a change of pace from the traditional yoga studio.

“It’s a different atmosphere and people like seeing the behind-the-scenes element of it,” Wolfe says.

Chasing a workout with alcohol isn’t something familiar to most, but Wolfe says everything in moderation is fine. “And beer in moderation can be very healthy,” she adds.


Wolfe will host the next beer and yoga class at Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington on Monday, Nov. 30. The cost is $15 for a one-hour class, which includes a pint of beer at the end. Call 703-578-3888 to reserve a spot.

On Dec. 6, Wolfe will lead Balance and Brews from noon to 1 p.m. at DC Brau. Get tickets here. And on Dec. 17, Wolfe will co-host a yoga class with Blue Nectar Yoga at Mad Fox Brewery in Falls Church.

 

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