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Dog-inspired Beers to Warm up the Fall

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The cooler temperatures have finally arrived, and with the chillier days come all of the local brewfests and Oktoberfest celebrations. They’ve been in full swing all month long, and I thought this would the perfect time to highlight some great beer companies whose dogs have inspired them to frothy greatness, or cater to those of us who just plain love dogs.

Sea Dog Brewing, located on the salty coastline of Maine, got their logo from their Great Pyrenees, Barney, who served as apprentice brewmaster and the company’s figurehead until he went to the Rainbow Bridge. Great Pyrenees were originally bred to protect flocks, and Barney used those instincts to guard the brew kettle as it boiled. Visit one of their brewpubs in Maine, and raise a pint to the memory of Barney. (I suggest the Hazelnut Porter.)

The owners of Laughing Dog Brewery in Sandpoint, Idaho, claim to get business direction, and even approval of various brews in the form of barks and woofs, from their yellow Lab, Ben. The entire Laughing Dog team is inspired by Ben and his loyalty, and Ben’s son Ruger is in training to fill his father’s shoes when Ben retires from the spotlight. Ruger is the inspiration behind their Devil Dog Imperial IPA.

If you’re going to hit Vegas anytime soon, make sure you take a side-trip off of the strip to Big Dog’s Bar and Grill. Shaped like a giant dog house and filled with doggy décor, it’s sure to bring a smile to your dog-loving face. They have great food (try the steak and cheese), and great beer. Their beer names alone will make you want to try them. Names like, LegLifter Light, Tailwagger Wheat, Red Hydrant, and – my personal favorite – Black Lab Stout.

Black Dog Ale, created by Spanish Peaks Brewing Co. in Denver, Colo. and Polson, Mont., features an image of the founder’s black lab, Chug, and the words “No Whiners.” If that’s not enough to love, they founded the “Help Chug Help His Friends” program in a partnership with the Humane Society. A portion of sales is donated to the charities in the program in an effort to help shelter animals get into their forever homes.

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I think that’s enough to wet your whistle for now, but if you’re interested in even more dog-related or inspired beers, check out Big Sky Brewing and their Powder Hound Ale; Lucky Labrador, Hair of the Dog, Thirsty Dog, and Bull Dog Brewing. Let us know if there are any others we’ve missed!

Remember: Hanging out with your dog by the campfire on a cool fall night with a cold one in your hand is a great thing, but remember – no beer for Fido! If your canine is feeling left out, you might consider getting them a beer of their own.

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