Christmas market comes to Eau Claire’s Lazy Monk Brewery

The Christkindlmarkt celebrates Christmas through tradition

More stories from Hayley Jacobson


Photo by Taylor Wilkinson

The Lazy Monk Brewery held its own German Christkindlmarkt. Multiple vendors set up booths outside of the brewery for the public to get the perfect holiday gift.

With red ribbon and pine bows, candles and glass, everything looked ready for Christmas. 

This was the fourth year the Christkindlmarkt was held at The Lazy Monk Brewing LLC, according to Jenny Bertelson, the beer hall manager for the brewery. 

“In Germany, they have so many beautiful outdoor markets,” Bertelson said, “We wanted to bring that here.”

The Lazy Monk Brewery has been in its current location for four years. 

The brewery was started by husband and wife pair, Theresa and Frank Leos. Frank Leos immigrated to the United States from the Czech Republic, Bertelson said. 

The two became partners after being pen pals, Bertelson said.

A few dates and a marriage later, the two became partners in life and business, according to Bertelson. The idea behind The Lazy Monk came from Frank Leos’ want for genuine German and Czech beers, to bring his home to the United States. 

The Lazy Monk has been brewing for ten years. 

After establishing the brewery in its current place in 2015, the couple decided to put on the annual market, as well. 

Before the brewery was moved to its current location on the corner of West Madison Street and Oxford avenue, they were located in Banburry Place next to Uptown Glass Studio. 

“It’s a great market, good people,” Tony Wagner, one of the artists at the Uptown Glass Studio, said. 

This was the fourth year Wagner and the Uptown Glass Studio were invited to take part in the holiday market. 

The studio was invited to the first holiday market because of the friendship that grew between the two businesses from being next to each other in Banburry Place, Wagner said. They have been a part of it ever since. 

Slightly Crooked Designs, run by Denai Boudewyns, was another booth present at the fair. Full of handmade bows and painted signs, there was a crowd around it. 

Boudewyns is a local preschool teacher. In her spare time, she makes bows and paints boards for outdoor decorations. 

“Boards and bows, all kinds of things you can think of. Anything to keep my hands going,” Boudewyns said. “Anything involving hot glue guns makes me happy.”

Boudewyns arrived at the fair at 10 a.m. for set up, and planned to leave by 4 p.m. when the fair ended. 

She was encouraged by her husband to join the fair this year, as they are patrons of The Lazy Monk. It was her second show ever, Boudewyns said. 

Before she had stuck to only selling her artwork on her Facebook page, which has been running for a year, Boudewyns said. Her favorite thing to make, and one of her most popular items, are her large outdoor signs. 

The market was held outside the brewery in part of the parking lot and along the side of the building next to Oxford Avenue. Several of the stalls along the side were wooden structures matching the German theme of the bar.

There will be a repeat of the fair from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m on Dec. 14 inside the brewery . 

Jacobson can be reached at [email protected]