One Saturday each month, Taxman Brewing Co. offers area residents a chance to hit the keg.
But people don’t gather on the Bargersville brewery’s patio for a pint of Gold Standard or la Maison.
Rather, they’re itching for a chance to do lunges, abdominal twists and squats using one of the empty canisters. The workout is part of the monthly Brewery Bootcamp.
“We wanted to make it feel like you were working out at a brewery,” said Stephanie Martin, co-owner of Martin Nutrition and Fitness and leader of the sessions. “You don’t have to have a gym membership to get a workout in, and it can be fun. You can get a workout in, then have lunch and a beer.”
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Beer and wine would seem to be the antithesis of a good workout. Still, a growing number of local breweries and wineries are offering their patrons a chance to break a sweat before relaxing with a frosty beverage.
Establishments offer 5K races, weekly running groups and yoga, encouraging their fans to get fit before rewarding their hard work. From boot camp to bicycling, it’s just another way to connect with their customers and challenge the preconceptions of beer and wine enthusiasts.
“It’s a unique venue for fitness classes,” said Leah Huelsebusch, co-owner of Taxman. “We want to make sure the balance is there, everything in moderation. When we built Taxman, we wanted it to be a space that centered around healthy living. From our menu where we source food from local farms to classes that we offer, that’s how we try to make it a balanced offering.”
As craft beer and small wineries have become more popular in Indiana, organizers have tried to find unique programming to attract people to their brands.
Live music, special food events and art nights are some ideas that area establishments have tried.
But fitness-centric activities are another great way to do that, said Sarah Shadday, marketing coordinator for Mallow Run Winery.
“There are a lot of people out there that love runs and 5K races. You see that with all of the different runs that are planned,” she said. “You kind of have to up the ante and add a little twist, like wine.”
Oaken Barrel Brewing Co. in Greenwood used to host a Brew Mile, a one-mile race held at different breweries around central Indiana. Once runners completed their mile, they got a complimentary pint of beer.
Running company BlueMile has started a pair of weekly training gatherings at Broad Ripple Brewing Co. and Flat 12 Bierworks.
New Day Meadery, a honey wine and cider emporium located in Fountain Square, hosts Go With the Flow yoga on Thursdays. Participants get through a full-body workout tailored for all experience levels, then get a glass of mead or cider.
One of Mallow Run’s signature events has a name that says it all. The Wine at the Line race offers runners and walkers the chance to traverse the Bargersville countryside on 5K or 5-mile courses.
When participants cross the finish line, they get a commemorative wine glass, complimentary tastings and a party featuring live music.
“It combines what we already do — the wine, the music, the food trucks — and tacking a run onto it,” Shadday said. “In addition to being all about fitness, it’s a really social event too.”
The Wine at the Line event was pushed by co-owner Laura Richardson, an avid runner who had logged dozens of miles on the picturesque roadways around the winery.
Joining with other runners in the area, the idea for a 5K run came together in 2010.
The first year of Wine at the Line, the winery had 1,800 people sign up. Participation doubled the year after, and has remained around 3,500 people ever since.
Part of the appeal is that it’s in early to mid October, when the autumn weather is generally cool and perfect for running.
“A big thing is the wine. But it’s unique because we do a 4 p.m. start, so there’s none of that getting up early in the morning,” Shadday said. “Afterward, you’re definitely ready for some wine.”
Not only does the race encourage physical fitness, but it aims to help community agencies as well. Proceeds from the race go toward a different charity each year.
This year, the run will benefit Pack Away Hunger, that provides food packets for needy families both locally and around the world.
“It was another opportunity for us to reach out to the community and do something that gives back,” Shadday said.
Taxman Brewing started offering classes from Studio You Yoga on its patio. During one of those classes, Huelsebusch was introduced to Martin and her husband, Jon.
They discussed partnering and doing something similar for boot camp. Workout warriors would jump rope, lift kettlebells and do step-ups on the brewery’s patio.
“We thought it would be a change of scenery a little bit, to get the non-fitness crowd, people who usually got to hang out at the bar,” Stephanie Martin said. “This was both things.”
They have also signed on as a sponsor at Wine at the Line. Leading into the race, Martin plans to offer workshops focusing on nutrition and race-day preparation.
“We’ve done the race before, so we can help people get ready for it,” Stephanie Martin said.
As the Martins prepare to open their own studio in the Center Grove area in October, the boot camp classes were a way to connect with new clients in a more relaxed way.
The Brewery Bootcamp has received a good response both times it has been offered, with about 10 people at the classes.
“It’s not like every weekend you’d go work out then have a beer. But once a month, you get to have a good workout event and hang out with friends afterward,” Stephanie Martin said.
Brewery and winery fitness opportunities
Wine at the Line
What: A 5K or 5-mile run around the Bargerville countryside. Proceeds benefit Pack Away Hunger.
When: 4 p.m. Oct. 3
Where: 6964 W. Whiteland Road, Bargersville
Cost: $35 in advance, $40 day of race
Go with the Flow yoga
What: A yoga night for participants of all skill level, featuring a full-body workout followed by a glass of craft mead or hard cider.
When: 6 to 7 p.m. Thursdays
Where: 1102 Prospect St., Indianapolis
Red, White & Rose Wine Run Series
What: A series of 5K runs and walks, as well as a 10K option, held at area wineries.
- Sept. 26: Chateau Thomas Winery, 6291 Cambridge Way, Plainfield, 5:30 p.m., $35 until Sept. 25, $40 day of race.
- Oct. 17: Cedar Creek Winery, 3820 Leonard Road, Martinsville, 3 p.m., $30 until Sept. 26, $35 after.
- Nov. 14: Butler Winery, 6200 E. Robinson Road, Bloomington, 3 p.m., $30 until Sept. 26, $35 after.
Run 317 Series
What: A occasional 5K run that entitles runners to two beers from Thr3e Wise Men and a post-race party with music and food.
- Today: Indy Reads Books, 911 Mass Ave., Indianapolis, 6 p.m., $35
- Oct. 22: Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, 1029 Fletcher Ave., Indianapolis, 6 p.m., $30 until Oct. 1, $35 after