Chug isn’t the only beer dog with a web presence: Olive, the original canine behind Old Brown Dog (Smuttynose Brewing Co., Portsmouth, NH) also accepts photos from dog-loving fans. And where most dogs must be content to produce litters of pups, Olive’s namesake American style brown ale (5.7% ABV and more highly-hopped than the English variant) helped “give birth” to Abita’s Turbo Dog beer.
Another Yankee brewery gives a nod to nautical dogs: Sea Dog Brewery (Camden, ME) is named for Barney, the brewery dog, a Great Pyrenees with an unusual affinity for water. Though Barney is gone, he grins from under a sou’wester on all the Sea Dog labels.
It’s a Dog-Eat-Dog World:
Bad Dogs, Tough Dogs
Not all of our associations with dogs are friendly. Dogs have a rich repertoire of threatening gestures meant to intimidate: raised hackles, growls, snarls.
Beers named for dogs’ dark side should have a flavor that bites back: Pitbull Dry Lite Ice (Hartford Brewery, Hartford, CT) doesn’t sound able to deliver enough snap to match that famously macho breed.
By contrast, Big Bad Dog Old English Ale (Blue Cat Brewpub, Rock Island, IL) promises enough flavor to strain your leash, as does Mad Dog from England’s Bull Mastiff Brewery.
We have tough, Churchillian bulldogs (Bulldog Brewing, Fresno, CA), menacing large dogs (Big Dog Brown Ale, Copper Tank Brewing Co., Austin, TX); dogs in a fix (Dog Pound Brew, Evansville Brewing Co., Evansville, IN; Dog Pound Porter, Old Harbor Brewing Co., Ipswich, MA); and a dog who just got fixed (Howlin’ Dog Brown Ale, Hangtown Brewery, Placerville, CA).
If you’re a “Gladiator” fan, Maximus Ale (Lagunitas Brewing Co., Petaluma, CA) has the right name, but only a minimus dog on the label.
And if you’re spoiling for a fight—a dog fight, certainly—your destination is Angry Dog Pub in Dallas.
A few years ago, there was a whole pack of mean red dogs. The leader of the pack was Red Dog lager from the homey-sounding Plank Road Brewery, but the hound was actually sired by the big dogs at Miller Brewing Co. Its bulldog displayed the obscure but oddly emboldening motto, “You are your own dog.”
Right behind the leader came Red Dog Alt from Molson in Canada, Red Dog Ale (O’Ryans Tavern & Brewery, Las Cruces, NM), Red Dog Draught (Plains Brewing Co. New Zealand), and a Red Dawg from Onalaska, WA, plus a couple of reddish wolves and foxes for back up.