Kimberly Wise, marketing and event coordinator for Athentic Brewing Company, poses for a photo immediately following the “Treat Yourself: Pound and Beer” event on Sunday, March 7, 2021. Wise said she enjoys partnering with businesses or individuals for events so both parties can benefit. (Photo/Liam Monast)

Workout at Athentic Brewing Company Shows Creativity, Community Focus During Pandemic

 

“May I take your order?” Kimberly Wise asked the group after they finished their exercise. 

Roughly 20 people came to Athentic Brewing Company for the “Treat Yourself: Pound and Beer” event on Sunday. Using bright green drumsticks, participants mirrored the motions of fitness instructor Jill Webb as she took confident lunges while tapping her drumsticks together and on the ground to the upbeat workout music. Webb mixed standing and sitting positions to prevent people from tiring out. 

Participants paid a flat fee of $15 for the class and a beer afterward. This appeared to be a welcome sight for those who were tired following the hourlong workout. 

This outdoor event is one of many that Wise, the brewery’s marketing and event coordinator, has organized since Athentic opened in August 2020. During that time, Jill Webb was unable to host fitness classes at the YMCA. Sunday’s class was Webb’s fifth time hosting a workout at the brewery.

“It was a perfect system in order to help both of us. (Jill) was able to earn an income during the pandemic, and I was able to advertise the brewery without spending a lot of money,” she said. 

Kimberly Wise, marketing and event coordinator for Athentic Brewing Company, poses for a photo immediately following the “Treat Yourself: Pound and Beer” event on March 7, 2021. Wise said she enjoys partnering with businesses or individuals for events so both parties can benefit. (Photo/Liam Monast)

Wise set up the class on a paved area that is physically separated from the majority of the outdoor customer seating of the Normaltown brewery. A hanging tarp gives the area some shade, and small hanging lights on a strand illuminate the area at night. That, Wise said, is Athentic Brewing Company’s designated event space for painting workshops, workout classes, weddings and other events. 

“It’s out of the way, it’s semi-private, it’s great,” she said. 

Wise said the most fun event she has put on thus far was the Doughnuts and Jazz night during one of the nights of Hanukkah. She arranged an agreement with the Athens restaurant Nedza’s to provide the doughnuts.  

Wise is also planning more collaborations in the near future for an upcoming beer cocktail event.  

 Why it’s Newsworthy: COVID-19 has ravaged the hospitality industry; revenue losses are threatening the ability of many businesses to stay open. Athentic Brewing Company opened its doors in the middle of the pandemic, and Marketing and Event Coordinator Kimberly Wise organizes outdoor events — such as the “Treat Yourself: Pound and Beer” class — as a way for the brewery to take in extra money without compromising customer safety.  

 

“We’re going to have local area bartenders come in and use one of our beers at the base to create cocktails to showcase the variety and different things you can do with beer,” she said. 

Athentic was originally going to open with a fully self-serve system, but Wise said that did not seem safe during the pandemic. The brewery instead features customary COVID-19 safety measures: employee-served drinks, a mask mandate, and socially distanced, mostly outdoor tables. 

Wise has an advertising degree from UGA and a background in nonprofits; Athentic Brewing Company is her first venture into the hospitality industry. Learning the trade in the midst of a pandemic was tiring and hard, she said. 

“I think it was the best time to learn because people are willing to give me a little bit more of a shot to try. Like if I mess up, they’re like ‘Oh, it’s understandable. We’re all learning, we’re all changing,’” she said. 

Now Wise jumps in to help out wherever she is needed, including busing tables and working the point of sale system — and taking orders of beers such as the Upright Hermit Irish Dry Stout and the Horton House Pilsner after Sunday’s workout. 

“You do what needs to be done at any given time,” she said. “That’s how a small business works.”

Liam Monast is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in business in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

 

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