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Brewers love dogs as well as lizards

By ERIC SHACKLE, in Sydney, Australia
 

Thirsty Dog beerWhat's the connection between dogs and beer? Queensland had a Thirsty Dog beer with an Australian cattle dog as its emblem in 2002, but it was scratched at the barrier before it could achieve a following, and is no longer marketed.

The United States has a Thirsty Dog beer of a different breed, as well as Sea Dog, Flying Dog, Hair of the Dog, Goldings Retriever, and (ahem) Old Leghumper. The Bulldog Brewery in Georgia makes "beer with the bite of a bulldog". It says its canine emblem is the only college mascot to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated and star in a movie (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil).

America seems to be the home of nearly as many dog beers as the lizard beers discussed last month.

"I am heading to The Thirsty Dog restaurant tonight for this month's special, Thirsty Dog brewery's Siberian Night, an award winning stout," English-born Frank QPR Duchossois (the QPR refers to his favourite English Soccer team, Queen's Park Rangers) wrote in an email from Ohio. "Maybe the dog/beer connection would make a good follow-up to your investigation of the lizard/beer connection."

That led us to an amusing review of the Thirsty Dog's Anniversary Ale, written by Bryan Carey, of Knoxville, Tennessee, who runs a top-rated website, Bryan's World of Beers, which said in part:

I can always count on Thirsty Dog to have barrels and barrels of my favorite standbys on tap, like Old Leghumper, Goldings Retriever, and a few others.

BulldogAnniversary Ale pours to a dark, reddish brown hue with an average amount of foam. Taking a few sniffs of the beer yielded an aroma that was a little burnt, chocolatey, complex and, above all else, tempting. I was confident that this was going to be a good, tasty brew.

The primary flavor in this beer is roasted barley malt, with hints of coffee and chocolate. The body is medium to full, and a little chewy, making for a nice, full belly after a couple of glasses.

This is the second porter to come out of the Thirsty Dog litter. The first one, and one of my all-time favorites, is the award-winning Old Leghumper, a dark, robust porter...

One thing to remember about this beer is that itís quite filling and it can leave you with a bloated feeling after just a few glasses. Itís not quite as filling as Old Leghumper, but itís very close.

Another thing to remember is that this beer is hard to find. A pint will cost you about $3.50 and a half-gallon jug to go will cost you $6.95.

Itís not quite good enough to make me roll over and then sit up and beg, like some of the other Thirsty Dog classics. But itís still good enough to make me lick myself and offer a paw for a second helping. I recommend giving it a try if you happen to be in the vicinity of one of the three Ohio locations.

Barney the Sea DogBarney the Sea Dog is the mascot of the Sea Dog Brewery in Bangor, Maine, which says "Our two Sea Dog Brew Pubs offer a full line of handcrafted ales that capture the spirit of Maine's sea-faring history." Then it says:

Barney was the Sea Dog Brewing Company's apprentice brewmaster and figurehead. Sadly he is no longer with us, but his spirit lives on. A Great Pyrenees, which were originally bred for their dauntless protection of mountain flocks and as official guard dogs for the French court in the 17th century, Barney continued this age old tradition by posting guard over the brew kettle as it boiled.

Although, the Great Pyrenees breed usually dislikes the water, Barney loved it and dove right in whenever he got the chance.

As a boating "enthusiast" he began sailing at three months and thus acquired his nickname of "Sea Dog". Barney was just as at home on deck as on land.

Flying DogThe Flying Dog Brewery in Denver, Colorado, says: "If art, whether it's the art of beer making or the visual arts, is our first language, then dogs are our second. Not those pampered show dogs, but everyday mutts that chase their own tails and bark at the moon. These guys are a reflection of the people we strive to be, carefree and spontaneous, rough around the edges but with real charm.

"As long as there are people in the world willing to jump the fence to walk their inner dog, Flying Dog will continue to be a thorn in convention's side and your purposeful, provocative and irreverent brewery."

Miller's Red Dog beverage won a gold medal in the American lager/ale or cream ale category at the Association of Brewers' Great American Beer Festival in Denver in 2004.

Hair of the Dog Brewery, Portland, Oregon, says Hair of the Dog Adam was originally called Adambier after a German beer style that had fallen into disuse. It recounts this story about its origin:

When King Frederick William IV of Prussia visited Dortmund a deputation of the magistrates waited upon him, one of them bearing a salver with a large tankard filled with Adam. When the King asked what it was, and heard that it was the celebrated beer, he said 'Very Welcome, for it is extremely warm,' and drained off the contents of the tankard at a draught. The members of the deputation smiled at each other, for they knew what would be the result. His Majesty was unconscious for more than twenty-four hours."

In the magazine All About Beer, (November 2001) Julie Johnson Bradford wrote:

Another dog-pub connection is part of the language in Northern England, where "taking the dog for a walk" is a euphemism for going to the pub for a quick pint. In the 1980s, Newcastle Brown Ale built a television ad campaign around the phrase: it was so successful that Newcastle Brown claims to be known colloquially as "The Dog."

Dog drinking beer

Which "begs" the question: do dogs drink beer? Don't offer it. It's bad for them, and a waste of that precious liquid amber. However, you can safely offer them a non-alcoholic beer specially brewed for dogs. The Dog Star Brewing Company of Napa Valley, California markets Happy Tail Ale. Its website says:

Non-alcoholic and non-carbonated, our Happy Tail Ale is the ultimate liquid refreshment for your best friend. Our beer is made in a real brewery and starts with artesian water and choice malted barley.

Brewed in 500-gallon copper kettles, Happy Tail Ale also features all-natural beef drippings (no by-products or chemicals!). Plus, it's fortified with Glucosamine and Vitamin E! Every ingredient in Happy Tail Ale is human grade, as Dog Star Brewing Company does not believe in giving our canine family members less than superior food and beverages.

Sure, there are lots of ways you show your dog you love him: Taking him for a walk, giving him a belly rub, tossing him a few treats...but how about a beer? Of course, you can't give him the same beer you grab from the fridge when YOU want a treat!

Alcohol, hops and carbonation are bad for dogs. But what about giving him a drink that not only tastes good, but is healthy as well?

Your dog will love our Happy Tail Ale, cold from the fridge and in a flavor he loves!

FINAL THOUGHT: Can a dog burp, acquire a beer belly, or even raise a few hiccups?

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Story first posted February 2007

Copyright © 2007

Eric Shackle

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