Hair of the Downward Dog

Pints & Poses goes on the road to mend the fest-weary body

In the midst of stainless steel and brick walls, there we sat on a Sunday afternoon in our unlikely paradise—on the concrete floor of Metropolitan Brewing Company in Chicago.

With the pumps, mill and bottling equipment switched off, the gurgle of fermentation blowing off into a five-gallon bucket of sanitized water provided the soothing soundtrack rivaled only by a babbling brook deep in the woods. The temperature was early-November-cool, yet comfortable, and the soft, yeast-and-sanitary-blended-with-aged-brick aromas permeating the ether brought a soothing sensation not only comforting to the olfactory, but to our entire being.

We were at peace, yet on a mission—to mend our battle-scarred livers from the beer festival punishment endured the night before.

Weeks before, Metro owners Doug and Tracy Hurst enthusiastically embraced the idea of Pints & Poses, a monthly event that Michelle and I had been executing at her yoga studio in rural Iowa for over a year. A longtime proponent of “beerga,” Tracy was quick to welcome the proposal of taking our happy hour yoga class “on the road*,” and agreed to host the event during a recent brewvana foray to Chicago for the Ninth Annual Festival of Wood and Barrel-Aged Beer. Her husband, the burly brewer sporting the red hunting cap, may have looked out of his element atop a yoga mat, but he, too, has judged the benefits of yoga an essential remedy to the physical beating taken by a brewer with a predisposition for a bad back.

The class started at 1 p.m., giving folks plenty of time to drag their fest-fatigued bodies from bed and approach the day. A variety of poses aimed at liver maintenance, as well as flow sequences and a phase of balance work, sought to restore bodies to working order.

Following the 90-minute yoga practice, Doug tapped a special firkin of lemongrass-infused Krankshaft Kolsch to move the program from the bending of bodies to the bending of elbows. Soft, lemony and packed with the nutrients that only unfiltered beer can offer, the refreshing Metro quaffer brought a smile to the face and a lube to conversation, which ensued as those in attendance got acquainted over topics of beer, yoga, food and music.

With open minds and beery souls at play, the hair of the dog and a few downward dogs juxtaposed nicely in this collaborative event brought to life by a beer blogger, a yoga studio and a brewery. Peace and pints were the order of the day, and, without a doubt, everyone went home satiated.

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*If you’re attached to a brewery or bar (or yoga studio, for that matter) and would like to bring a Pints & Poses to your venue, shoot me an email at jwilson [AT] brewvana [DOT] net.

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