“The pandemic has helped us recognize the extreme importance of wellness. Pairing mental and physical wellness allows us to live a healthier, happier life, which is what we all want for ourselves (and one another), right?” – Melanie Fox, Co-Founder of Work for Your Beer
There was a time when beer and exercise were not best friends. It was more like an excess of one necessitated a reluctant excess of the other.
But, that time has long since passed. And, Melanie Fox and Alicia Valenski, founders of Work for Your Beer (WFYB), helped usher its demise in Charlotte.
In 2015, Fox and Valenski started attending beer yoga classes together. They were instantly hooked — a group activity that combined two things they loved, exercise and exploring craft beer after class (and sometimes DURING class).
At first, they thought it was a small, niche activity. But, the more they looked, the more combinations of exercise and craft beer they found, more than 75 a week at the time. But, they were disconnected and scantly marketed, but they existed … a huge community of beer/exercise enthusiasts just waiting to be brought together. That seemed like wasted potential to Fox and Valenski.
Sweat and Craft Beer Bind a Community Together
Thus, WFYB was born — a group with the mission of bringing together people who strive to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle without sacrificing the things they love, like craft beer.
“We put together a directory of these classes so that anyone looking to work out, drink beer, and make new friends could find them in one convenient spot,” said Fox. “From there, our community has grown substantially, and we now list classes from cities all over North America.”
WFYB was an immediate hit, powered by the personalities of Fox and Valenski, a vibrant, energetic social media presence and collaborations with local organizations and businesses like OrthoCarolina.
And, that’s our cue to bring in the creative …
A Vibrant Artist Meets a Vibrant Organization
As part of The Biscuit’s partnership with OrthoCarolina, each month we pair a local organization like WFYB also supported by Ortho with a Charlotte-based creative to help their mission come alive.
Great craft beer deserves a beautiful goblet in which to be served. And, as we thought about who could create such an amazing drinking vessel for a colorful and exuberant organization like WFYB, one name sprung to mind: Caroline Simas
Working out of the Dilworth Artisan Salon (which is playing host to a holiday open house on Dec, 3), Simas is known for using bright colors in her work, which ranges from watercolors, textured acrylic on canvas, pen and ink work and mixed media. Her studio’s name, Multiple Blessings, belies the optimistic spirit she challenges herself to bring to creative projects, especially collaborations.
“Some of my favorite projects have been collaborations,” she said. “I truly believe it’s important for all creatives to cheer for and support one another….it’s just more fun!”
To demonstrate how WFYB connects beer/exercise lovers from across Charlotte (and now the country) with fun, fellowship and fermented goodness, Simas decorated Belgian beer glasses with a collection of colors, shapes and styles — something she feels captures the magic of the organization”
“I love the concept of making exercise a priority before indulging,” she said. “WFYB is a fun and active community so I tried to reflect that colorful, vibrant spirit on the pint glasses.”
A New Glass for a New Beer
Fox says WFYB intends to give several of Simas’ glasses away on Instagram in coming weeks. But, she couldn’t resist trying them out immediately.
Timing is, indeed, everything. Within minutes of unwrapping them, Fox had filled one with “Unbelievably Annoying,” a new session coffee stout brewed by Charlotte’s Divine Barrel Brewing to celebrate WFYB’s fifth anniversary.
Fox says this beer is a “workout stout.” It’s “light enough to drink post-workout, will give you a little caffeine boost from Magnolia’ Coffee’s Glide blend, and because of its lower ABV (alcohol by volume), it won’t knock you on your ass.” [NOTE: The beer is on tap at Divine Barrel now.]
WFYB is collaborating with four other breweries to mark their anniversary … and to hoist a brew to toast the year ahead.
“[In 2022], we hope to travel across the U.S. to check out new beer-centric cities, host free fitness events and grow the WFYB community,” said Fox. “In Charlotte, we’d love to continue hosting non-profit events, collaborating with local craft breweries and working with OrthoCarolina to educate our audience on health & fitness!”
Take a Few More Sips
The Partnership Pairing series is powered by OrthoCarolina.
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