Bonding With the Hair of the Dog

Published on: January 6th, 2010

For those who love their craft-brewed beer as much as they love their dog(s), Brian and Becky Bennett have created a fetching tome that pays heartfelt homage to the two ubiquitous things we cherish most in Colorado.

The 152-page BrewDogs of Colorado is a beautifully executed, large format book with more than 70 photos of dogs in breweries from Fort Collins to Longmont to Durango. Of course Boulder and Denver breweries are heavily represented in a book that shows off the glorious beauty of the state we love as well as the equipment, ingredients and environs of the breweries and brew pubs that are a second home for those who cherish the good stuff.

“While the idea was not exactly born over a beer, the connection between beer and dogs is not too far ‘fetched,’” authors Brian and Becky Bennett said in a press release. “We realized that not only are most Colorado breweries dog-friendly, but a lot of beers are named after dogs. …With over 100 breweries in Colorado, it wasn’t hard to find an award winning craft beer, and a dog to go with it.”

And it must also be said that the Colorado Springs couples’ idea of combining beer and dogs was a stroke of genius; gals will swoon over the cute pooches and us guys will lightly smile and knowingly nod at the photos of our favorite tap rooms (and draughts); truly something for everyone.

The book has an underlying sentimentality—as brewery owners and brewmasters discuss the roles their furry friends play in their lives and in the culture of the breweries.

“As a long-time dog owner and, before becoming Denver’s Mayor, a brewery owner, I am well aware of the special bond that exists between a dog and his owner,” writes Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, who writes the forward to the book. “Everyone in the brewing business knows that the long, sometimes lonely work hours can be shortened by the company of a dog or the expectation of that enthusiastic ‘welcome home.’”

Beer-lovers and dog-lovers alike can find BrewDogs at local, independent book sellers for a paltry $30. Check out brewdogsbook.com for locations.

Come and Get It
Tis the season for serious beer. The lighter, crisper ales and lagers of summer are fine, but give me the rich, dark, robust beers of winter—the malty Oktoberfests, spicy seasonals and pitch black imperial stouts and porters—any day. They are the ones that put a smack down on the bitter cold, and stand strong with a pot of chili or shepherd’s pie. That being the case, don’t delay in getting to the Left Hand Taproom (1265 Boston Ave., Longmont) to savor the smooth, warming goodness of the newly tapped Widdershins, oak-aged barleywine. Clocking in right at 9 percent ABV (alcohol by volume), this malty tsunami of a brew doesn’t last long and, if you can, try to catch a cask conditioned glass as opposed to a 22-ounce bomber. The difference is staggering.

Left Hand Brewery will tap its last kegs of the following popular seasonals on the following days leading up to Christmas. Show Santa you care and treat him (or her) to a pint of the good stuff: Depth Charge Espresso Milk Stout, Dec. 22; Pro-Am Brown Ale, Dec. 23; Smoke Jumper Imperial Porter, Dec. 24. Don’t miss the celebration of Robert Burns’ birthday on Jan. 25 with the tapping of Widdershins.

Because We’re Special
The folks at Samuel Adams have brewed up a trio of special ales aged in oak barrels originally used to hold Italian brandy. The New World Tripel, American Kriek and Stony Brook Red are a limited-production offering that will only be available in Boston and, yes, Denver. The tripel starts with Belgian yeast and takes off from there with all sorts of banana, mango and other fruity aromas and flavors. The robust red has a drier finish than you’d expect. By far the best of the three is the bright cherry flavor of the Kriek. Its exquisite balance makes it worth seeking out.

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