Thursday, July 2, 2015

Balance and Brews at Thirsty Dog

Balance & Brews at Thirsty Dog
by Brit Charek

Some partnerships just seem natural (peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, Hall and Oates, etc.) and then there are perfect pairings that take some time to warm up to before you realize they were meant to be together. (Think Harold and Maude or sea salt and caramel.) Yoga and beer might seem to fall into that latter category, but hear me out-- I think there's something to this.

"Yoga and beer ARE traditionally seen as two different lifestyles, and that's precisely why I like pairing them," says Balance & Brews founder Melissa Klimo-Major. "I don't think things have to be 'labeled' or fit neatly into only one box. I get the most out of my yoga practice when I back off and surrender a bit. When enjoyed responsibly, our guards come down and we are open to chat with the person sitting next to us at a brewery bar. We know at the very least we have that beer in common. It helps bridge a connection. And then you start to see that these two things actually are not that different... they're both creating unity, they're creating a like-minded tribe."

Balance & Brews events offer all-levels yoga in an unassuming environment (typically a brewery or a tasting room) so that anyone can feel welcome. After 60 minutes of practice, participants enjoy beers and a group brewery tour. Their next event is Wednesday, July 8th at Thirsty Dog Brewing Company.

From B&B's last event at Thirsty Dog
This class will be taught by Kara Sullivan, an Akron native who developed a love for yoga on the West Coast which she brought home to share with others. With her day job being the Northeast Ohio Sales Specialist for Deschutes Brewery, she's more than excited to combine her love of yoga with her love of craft beer.

Instructor Kara (left) and Assistant Sarah
You might wonder how this full-fledged business came to be. 

"B&B's original business plan was to be a supplemental side job to compliment my studio teaching but it grew into something really big really quick," says Klimo-Major. 

"Everyone working with me in any capacity now is there because they came to an event and we realized we have some sort of yoga and beer connection, and then they had the guts and smarts to say 'Hey, I like this vision, I also love these two things, and I would have this to offer to a team, if you are interested.' It's been super organic in how it's grown."

Do you want to help B&B grow? Start by joining them at Thirsty Dog next Wednesday at 6:30pm! You can buy tickets here. These events tend to sell out, so you might want to get tickets in advance!

And what should you order after your hour of practice?

Klimo-Major recommends Citra Dog. "[It's] a current favorite staple! I normally prefer a piney hop over citrus but this one is perfectly brewed and I really love it."

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