Dog Friendly Brewers
Posted by Keith Anderson on 29th October 2021
As fall kicks into high gear our minds and taste buds turn to beer - brewfests, Oktoberfests, brew pubs, brewery tours. Good beer and dogs go together like peanut butter and jelly, so it's no surprise that you so often find them together. It's common to see dogs on beer labels, dogs in beer names, and even dogs in a lot of great breweries, lending their expertise and tail-wagging enthusiasm. We've rounded up some of our favorite beers from around the country that are also dog themed. Read on and then shoot to the store and try them for yourself.
Smuttynose has a lot of great beers, but their Old Brown Dog is particularly of note to beer and dog lovers both. On the label is Olive, a Brittany Spaniel-Weimaraner mix, who belonged to the co-owners of the company. She was adopted in the early 90s from a rescue organization and they put her on the beer to pay tribute to her. She’s since passed away, but you can still find her on every bottle of Old Brown Dog, and occasionally on other labels, like the small batch Really Old Brown Dog, where she’s sitting on her favorite chair, on her favorite beach, with her favorite people.
Two traditional German brewers, Hagen and Bill, decided they would open their own brewery in Chicago. While they were building their brewery and perfecting their recipes, they worked out of Hagen’s house, where he lived with his human family and Bingo, his Basset Beagle mix. The dog was a constant presence during the brewing and testing phases, and the two brewmasters knew that their brewery would have to be dog friendly.
They’ve since opened, and Bingo and any other dog are more than welcome. It’s a common site at the brewery to see dogs and humans sharing booths and tables. To make it even more welcoming, Dovetail is making homemade dog treats from the leftover grains from the brewing process!
Flat 12 is a microbrewery in Indianapolis that has worked dogs into their brewery in a few ways. Dogs are allowed in with their owners to sit and have a drink, but they don’t have to watch jealously, because Flat 12 has a non-alcoholic beer on tap specifically or dogs. Each round of the brew costs a buck, and all the proceeds go to local shelters. It’s made from a soup stock mixed with brewer’s yeast and wort, and brave patrons who’ve tried it say it tastes like a strange soup, but the dogs all love it.
“I think every employee here owns a dog,” said the brewery’s Valerie Green. “We are all very dog-friendly.”
Laughing Dog Brewing
Laughing Dog Brewing started small with an effort to create beers with more hops, but it has since turned into a bustling brewery with over 15 award winning beers, including everything from IPAs and stouts to specialized seasonals.
For their logo and all of their beer labels, they use their beloved Yellow Lab named Ben. He has been a constant companion to owners Fred and Michelle Colby, and they wanted to make sure he felt involved in the finished product. Often times they would even involve Ben in their beer discussions, letting the dog smell their new ideas and give barks of approval.
Ben is getting old, but he’s already training his son Ruger to continue on the legacy of dog-vetted brews.
Lagunitas Brewing is famous for its quality beer, graphic labels, and the iconic dog on its bottles. Starting out of a garage in California, the brewery has since expanded to a few locations around the country. Despite its growth, the original brewery 'gang' stayed true to its founding culture. Known as a dog-friendly business, Lagunitas features an executive team of over twenty "LaguPups" working across the breweries' taprooms and offices.
The dog featured on their labels is based on Petey, a star of The Little Rascals' classic TV show. In an interview, Tony Magee, founder of Lagunitas Brewing, told the SFGate, "he hoped that the loyalty and positive feelings associated with man's best friend would also become linked with his beer."
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