It was a chilly Tuesday night as I trudged through the doors of the Pepperell Mill en route to Banded Horn Brewing Co. in Biddeford. Not here for a dunkel, but a downward dog, I joined the latest tasting room craze — Brewasanna.
“I’m kind of intimidated,” a 20-something business owner told me as we walked into the mill under dark skies.
Truth be told, so was I.
Going barefoot in a brewery for a yoga class and knocking back a few cold ones with strangers dressed in workout togs requires extra vim. An hour later as I sipped a porter in a collective Zen-like post-stretch aura, I realized I had nothing to dread.
Brewasanna is as much fun as you can have with your LuLu Lemon’s on in early winter in Maine. “I wish this was every Tuesday night,” said Jessica St. Ours of Saco surrounded by friends in hoodies and tights and pints. “It’s girls night out.”
Since August, this brewery has invited yoga instructor Heidi Smart and the limber public to stretch, bend and twist on the production floor surrounded by kegs and fermenters. Her yoga class had swan dives, high planks, pigeon poses, upward and downward dogs, but instead of rushing off to the locker room or parking lot afterwards, we rolled up our mats and made a B-line for the taps. What’s not to like?
“It’s good for everybody,” said Michael Delaney, aka Biggie, the company’s brand ambassador, pouring stouts and smoked ales in a elf hat. “The reason why we do any of this is we love beer and we love people.”
And they have the space.
The 5,600-square-foot brewery is larger than most yoga studios. With high ceilings, worn wooden floors and the lab sounds of fermentation tanks turning malt into beer, it’s comforting. “It’s nice for people to exercise and socialize,” said Smart.
It’s also a nifty way to mix and mingle, realign your chakras and try new beer.
“It makes sense to bring the two together, ” said Biggie. “It provides an all inclusive social aspect to the practice that I have not seen in any other class. The class becomes a celebration.”
With Christmas carols blasting, I walked back out onto the streets of Biddeford as virgin snowflakes fell. Not bad for a Tuesday.