Saturday, August 2, 2014

Brew Dogs

The stagnant line of impatient people stretched up the sidewalk like crazed Christmas shoppers camping outside of Walmart for Black Friday's super sales. I wore a wrist band from smartly pre-registering the night before at a local pub, and smugly told myself how my super-genius, pre-planning would alleviate the pain and suffering of standing in line.

Feeling like a VIP, I approached a staff member at the gate. "What do you mean it does not matter?" I blurted after being rebuffed and told to get in line. "What good was pre-registering then?!" I huffed, steam rolling out of my ears, and stomped up the hill to become the caboose for the train of people.

I was at a Beer Festival in a mountain town where nearly 50 micro-brewers had set up tents with their custom suds on tap. Tickets had sold out and live music spilling from huge speakers reverberated off ugly ski resort condos and the towering ski mountain. Fortunately, the line quickly marched forward and I was soon wide-eyed, like a neurotic child in a candy shop, overwhelmed at the selection that stood before me. ("Oh boy...oh boy....oh boy...where do I start?")

Blueberry Wheat, IPA's, Double IPA's, Wheats, Unfiltered Wheats, Chili Beers, Vanilla Porters, Stouts, and Lagers thick enough to float horseshoes were readily available.  I whipped out my Festival glass, a plastic cup not much larger than a shot glass, and proceeded to known favorites. 

The sun was out and I convinced myself I had an insatiable thirst, so... samples flowed freely down my pseudo-parched throat. Having morphed into a thief collecting loot, I darted among vendor tents. Having quenched some of my thirst, I transformed into a panther on the hunt, seeking only prized beers for my efforts. I was not only getting my money's worth in beer, but my childlike fetish for colorful and cool beer stickers had me scrambling to stuff my pockets to capacity.

Oh-so accidentally, I had a vendor fill my glass with something resembling a heavy duty, 80 weight gear oil from a barrel that had been mistakenly labeled as beer.  Or, maybe, was it roofing tar?  Blech!  I inverted my cup to watch the thick fluid ooze from my glass like candle wax and, with my head on a swivel, I sought out the closest tent to stand in line for a tasty rinse and refill.

"They don't even sell beer?" loudly erupted from the neighboring tent. I was standing in line wanting to get physical with a loud-mouthed, know-it-all who was such a close-talker that I stepped back prior to being kissed.  Glancing next door, I read their banner.  "The Brew Dogs of Colorado.  Dogs, Beer, Colorado...It doesn't get much better!"

That's my kind of tent! Instantly, I shifted gears.

I could not help myself--the tent beckoned me.  In a trance, I went over, admiring their logo; a cartoonish looking chocolate lab balancing a pint on his nose, and struck up a conversation with the co-owner.

"Well, during the recession, I was under worked and my wife ended up losing her job," he explained and they, combined with his step-daughters, came up with the idea of doing a book about microbreweries and their associated dogs that seem to come with the job.  As a team, they set out doing photo shoots of the dogs/owners and scripted simple biographies about the dogs, many being rescue animals.  They published their first book, which evolved into a second edition, and a clothing line also emerged where they won recognition with their logo. Bandanas and bumper stickers were added to the merchandise line and after fanning through the first edition, I had to buy the festival deal of both books, a bandana and bumper sticker at a special price.

He commented about getting a partner, and I toy with the idea.  If you're interested in the website, here it is: The Brew Dogs of Colorado.  If you're interested in the partnership idea, go away...or, at least wait until I make a decision.

Dogs are the best. We humans should fall at their feet and ask for forgiveness and aspire to be like them.

It it unfair, a pure travesty, that we get so few years with them. If I was in charge, they would live the lifespan of their human counter-part! If anyone has the connection to make that happen, pass it on. And, since you're there, give a big howdy to: Rocky, Jax, Harley, Tari, Clarence, Hugo, Portia, Cisco, Badger, Rigor, Baker, Jasmine, Reno, Baron, Puppy, Lucy, Diesel, Jethro, Sheila, Rio, Buford, Rex, Sammy, Turbo, Junior, Penny, Krinky, Mr. Belvedere, and the list goes on and on...

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