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Little Thistle taproom manager Ben Ankeny

Little Thistle is holding its second industry night Monday, and this one focuses on Rochester’s teachers. Whether you teach kindergarten or high school, don your school badge and head over to the brewery on Jan. 20 from 3 – 8 p.m. for $3 pints and free hot dogs.

The teacher appreciation night follows in the footsteps of the first similar event held in November, for the service industry.

“We had a good response from that,” Ben Ankeny said. “It works for us to be able to do a discount and honor people who are in town in certain industries.”

The events are held on Mondays when the brewery is normally closed, and only allow those in a certain field of work in.

“We just wanted this (to be a) community center, and we’re community-focused, and (we wanted) kind of a thanks to people who are in the community,” Ankeny said.

One of the goals of the events is to help people network with others in their industry. As for the service industry event, the idea there was to give servers, dishwashers, or cooks an opportunity to check out Little Thistle and gain a bit of a more intimate experience.

The teachers’ night takes educators’ schedules into account.

“This one works out really well because it’s Martin Luther King Day,” Ankeny said. “And we have a couple teachers that come in here quite often, so I got some feedback from Scott Lyke (a teacher) on what time we should start, when we should end.”

Also of note for those competitive teachers? The ping pong table and other games will be out, so Ankeny hopes to see some friendly competition between schools.

“It’d be fun to see some schools do some friendly competitions, whether it’s shuffleboard, foosball, ping pong,” he said. “It’d be kind of fun to see a little of that going on.

It’s tiny details like this that help bring people in and make the event a success, he thinks. It might take a day off away from Ankeny and company, but it’s worth it.

“It’s that way to offer thanks to the people in the community,” he said. “As long as people enjoy and show up for it, we are happy to do it.”

About 40 people showed up for the first event, with many visitors newcomers to the brewery.

More events are being planned for the year, with nurses set to be the industry honored next. Ankeny said there is a list with about seven or eight other industries in the works.

“We’d like to continue doing it,” he said. “I can only assume we’ll keep going with it.”

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