About 18 months ago, I moved to the western suburbs of Chicago from the near-west suburb of Berwyn. Berwyn is 20-30 minutes from downtown Chicago, so most everything the city has to offer is nearby. Berwyn still has that neighborhood feel; they recognize you at Ace Hardware, if you’re a customer long enough, the nearby Italian deli is cash only and closed on Sundays and Vesecky’s a mainstay on Cermak still makes Polish pastries for Pulaski Day. I was worried about missing all of this when I moved to the ‘burbs.
Luckily, as time has gone on, I have come to see the unique attractions of Wheaton, my new town, and the surrounding area. The most recent revealed itself a couple of weeks ago, when friends asked if my JD and I wanted to go to a yoga class at a new brewery, Alter Brewing, in Downers Grove. We immediately accepted the invitation. We like yoga, we like beer, and we hadn’t heard of Alter, so wanted to check out somewhere new. I was even happier when I learned that the class started at the civilized hour of 11:00 AM, an hour before the tasting room opens. The admission price to class also included a pint of our choice upon completion.
When we showed up, the tables had been cleared, the floor-to-ceiling doors were open and there was a nice breeze. Our instructor, Nicole, was so fantastic and welcoming. She brought mats for everyone. Thirty six people showed up for class! Alter’s décor was very trendy; minimalist industrial with reclaimed wood on certain walls and solid wood counters and tables and orange chairs. The gleaming stainless steel brewing equipment is visible for all to see.
It was a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning even though I realized how out of shape I am! I think perhaps I underestimated yoga at a brewery. We went through a series of poses that challenged me; especially the 2-minute Pigeon. However, class went by really quickly and coming to the Savasana was a relief.
The challenges of class did not prevent me from recognizing what a great combination yoga and beer is. I did something good for myself and then enjoyed a beer with friends – old and new – afterward. My JD is an aspiring chef who believes that food brings people together. I think the same can be said for yoga and beer.
Class ended at noon and a couple of hours later, we were debating whether we should wile away the day at this new place that is sure to become a regular haunt. I had a great time getting to know people; chatting with Nicole, spending time with friends and just enjoying the fact that on this rare Saturday, I had nowhere to go after yoga and beer.