Since we launched in December 2016, Work For Your Beer has seen some incredible growth — and some big changes. We added new members to our ever-growing team, we partnered with other local businesses to support some awesome events and initiatives, and we totally switched up our digital efforts to better serve our community's needs as the ultimate guide to beer fitness.

We are so grateful to everyone who has been a part of our journey so far, and we can't wait to see what 2019 has in store for Work For Your Beer!

In the meantime, here's our highlight reel from this past year — our top 18 from 2018, if you will: 

1. We celebrated Work For Your Beer's 2nd birthday bash.

Surrounded by members of Charlotte's thriving beer fitness community at Free Range Brewing, we toasted to two years of working out, drinking beer, and making friends. Everyone enjoyed free beer, free cupcakes, and free swag. Mel and Alicia both cried happy tears (no shame). It was a blast.

2. We unveiled a shiny new website.

If you've checked out workforyourbeer.com lately (hey, you're here right now!), then you probably noticed that we dramatically updated our site's look, feel, and functionality to improve the user experience. This project was a huge undertaking, and we're still beta testing the new site right now — so, please share any feedback you have with us here!

3. We stopped hosting beer fitness events (so we could focus on promoting events that already exist).

A lot of people think that Work For Your Beer hosts beer fitness activities of our own. And for a while, we did. We wanted to learn the ins and outs of hosting these activities, what our audience wants from them, and what information they need to know before attending them. We learned a lot through our experience hosting events, and that helped us grow as a resource. 

However, Work For Your Beer was founded on the premise of being the ultimate guide to beer fitness. Brewery yoga classes, run clubs, bike rides, boot camps, dance classes — they already exist. We're not here to host more of them. We're here to help get them off the ground if needed (more on that in a second!), but generally speaking, we're just the directory.

We list all of these activities out so you can easily search for them by location, the day of the week, the type of activity... then you find activities you're interested in, and you attend them. 

The people hosting these events (the breweries, cideries, wineries; the gyms and studios; the solo instructors; all of them) are the real heroes. We're just here to give you all the details about the hard work they're doing.

We're the directory. Use us.

4. We wrote an e-book about how to start your own beer fitness class.

If you've been thinking about starting your own boozy fitness activity (brewery run clubs, winery yoga, cidery bike rides, distillery dance classes... take your pick!), then this e-book is for you.

In this guide, we outline why you should consider starting an activity, recommended best practices (from pricing to timing to insurance and beyond), and how to plan and market your event. We do just about everything but host the event for you. What are you waiting for? Read it

5. Work For Your Beer co-founder Alicia officially went full-time.

Work For Your Beer has been a side hustle for co-founders Mel and Alicia since it launched in December 2016. Two years later, the two agreed that it was finally time to take the business to the next level. Alicia left her role at the Charlotte Observer to pursue Work For Your Beer full-time, and she and Mel outlined some exciting goals to grow the company in 2019 (in Charlotte and beyond).

6. We kicked off our Work For Your Beer brand ambassador program (and our team of active beer-lovers tripled in size).

Once we launched our Work For Your Beer brand ambassador program, we grew from our small core team to a big ol' group of people passionate about working out, drinking beer, and making friends. We learned together. We grew together. We bonded at beer fitness activities, team happy hours, beer festivals, and more. 

Interested in joining in on the fun? You can find out more about our Work For Your Beer-bassador Program from our Brand Ambassador Manager, Aleena, at aleena@workforyourbeer.com

7. We launched Work For Your Wine.

Listen. Our company's name may be Work For Your Beer, but as we like to say, "We're alcohol agnostic." We've done plenty of yoga classes that were followed by a glass of wine rather than a pint of beer, and it's been glorious. 

We heard from so many people, "If your shirts said 'wine' instead of beer, I'd be all over this!" So, we decided to expand our offerings to support all the oenophiles out there. 

Now, you can purchase Work For Your Wine shirts and follow @workforyourwine on Instagram. Look out for more coming from the vino side of the business in 2019! 

8. We started a Charlotte-specific Work For Your Beer group on Facebook, so you can be a part of the community's conversations about beer and fitness.

Now, there's somewhere you can go to ask the Queen City community any questions you have about beer, fitness, or living a healthy and balanced lifestyle... or just to find someone else to attend a new beer fitness activity with you! 

9. We got Work For Your Beer pet bandanas for your furry friends.

We *may* be slightly obsessed with dogs here on the Work For Your Beer team, it's true. But our pet bandanas also look adorable on cats. And maybe ferrets? Whatever pet you have, chances are we've got a size that will fit them. (Er... When they're in stock, that is. They sell out pretty fast, so keep an eye on the shop!)

10. And we finally got Work For Your Beer hats.

People kept asking for them, so we finally caved and got those "dad hats" everyone loves and slapped an embroidered Work For Your Beer logo on 'em. This is another item that flies off the metaphorical shelf in our shop as soon as we get them in stock, so if you want one, be vigilant! (Or just email us that you want one and we'll figure something out. That works, too.)

11. And we got Work For Your Beer man tanks.

People complained that we only had ladies' tank tops, so we added a men's muscle tank to the shop as well. Here's the thing: if you ask us for what you want, we'll listen! Crazy, right? 

12. Along with our friends at OrthoCarolina, we got you guys to show us how you work for your beer at local breweries.

Members of the Work For Your Beer community spent the summer months doing jumping jacks, yoga poses, and lunges in front of our signature mint-colored signs at NoDa Brewing, Legion Brewing, Triple C Brewing, Catawba Brewing, and Blue Blaze Brewing (for the chance to win $100 brewery gift cards). Seeing so many posts with the hashtags #WorkForYourBeer and #YouImproved kept us inspired to stay active, even when it was sweltering outside!

13. We worked with our friends in the community to kick off cool new beer fitness activities here in Charlotte.

While we no longer host or manage events of our own, we love using our knowledge of the beer fitness scene to help our partners kick off new event series!

We partnered with Skipper to start a brewery dog walk series that we're obsessed with (obviously!). We also helped kick off unique events like Animal Flow at Divine Barrel Brewing, Pound at Legion Brewing, Box For Your Beer at Resident Culture, and more. 

14. We sponsored some pretty freakin' incredible one-off events in the community, too (and raised money for some amazing causes).

We did yoga on the Hornets court, and we ran for our espresso with Dunkin'. We ran a 0.5K Superhero Beer Run (with beer at the starting line and finish line, and donuts at the halfway point) in support of the Be The Match foundation.

We also worked with OrthoCarolina to raise over $1,000 for the Hurricane Florence Relief Fund at our Fun Run at Legion Brewing SouthPark. And we partnered with NoDa Brewing and Woody & Wilcox to host a Dale-Gate in support of the late veteran Dale Beatty's family and Purple Heart Homes.

15. We tried all sorts of new activities in our Work For Your Beer Spotlights series.

We tried Lyra, Budokon, hip-hop yogaChakti, cat yoga, Jazzercise, and more in 2018... what should we try in 2019? Tell us, and we'll give it a shot!

16. We branched out from beer to try new boozy beverages. 

Frosé from Sycamore Brewing's new Wild Blossom Cider. Union Wine Co.'s canned Riesling Radler. Bravazzi's hard Italian soda. We really ventured outside of our comfort zone this year, and it was totally worth it. If you have beverage suggestions for 2019, we're all ears.

17. We traveled to new beer-centric cities in the Carolinas.

We made our way to Asheville for Sierra Nevada Beer Camp, where we played Human Foosball and Hungry, Hungry Humans (among other ridiculous and admittedly maybe-not-so-safe-but-super-fun games). We raced bouncy ponies and wore umbrella hats at the Charleston Beer Garden Festival. We worked for our beer at festivals in Raleigh, Columbia, Greenville, and more. What other cities should be on our boozy bucket list in 2019?

18. We saw Work For Your Beer make its way around the world.

Seriously. Work For Your Beer was tagged in photos from locations all over the globe, including Vietnam, Bali, Australia, Belgium, St. Thomas, Oahu, the Dominican Republic, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Boulder, Brewster, and more. 

Cheers to an awesome year (and to even more growth and excitement in 2019)!

-Alicia & Mel