Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Confessions of a Brew Hound

You might be asking yourself, huh, what? A dog writing on a brewery blog? Hey, technically I am the brains behind this operation. When my human dad, Paul, was playing around with the idea of opening up a brewery, me and my sister Marmalade were right there, working with him to come up with a sound idea. 

Marmalade was an interesting lass, full of energy, confidant to a fault, and a bit of an opera singer. Not bad for a lady who was pushing 64 in dog years. She had faults, sure, don’t we all? She was a bit of a nag, often pushing both me and Dad out the door to the backyard. I wasn't too happy with that, but boy . . . could she run! She seemed to run across the yard in what seemed like blinding speed. Dad would work tirelessly on his recipes, it got to the point where I just went to bed, I knew he was in good hands with my bloodhound sister. She would get into trouble though, see, when Dad wasn't looking after emptying out his mash tun, Marmalade was right there to, uhmmm . . . ” clean it up.” She meant well, but she ended up making two messes, one on the floor, and well, okay it went out the other end and onto the floor. Dad wasn't all too happy.

 Marmalade, or as Mom liked to call her, “Marmie,” I suspected her of having a drinking problem. It’s one thing to drink out of the toilet (not me, ewww that’s where humans squat and lift their legs), but to blatantly go out of her way when Dad wasn't looking, and drink his freshly poured beer??? She always left a little gift behind, too, her special signature of a pint full of slobber. I eat and sniff some pretty disgusting things, but wow, that was pretty nasty even for me. I was the good boy, Dad rarely got cross with me. He’s really patient and I've done things that would piss off your average human.

Like this one time, I had just moved into my new home, I had a little too much to drink and really needed to go. Dad was outside and I had no way of opening the door, okay I might be able to type, but open doors? That’s a whole different thing, I wait for them to be opened for me. Anyway, I couldn't hold it any longer, so I went right on the living room floor. I heard the key in the door, “Oh no!” I thought to myself, “I have to do something about this really quick or Dad might send me away!” With split second thinking, I went upstairs into that chamber of horrors known as the bathroom, the very place that thing … a bathtub resides. Oh the horror! Just when you work up the perfect stink, the humans have to wash it all off. So, my humans are obsessed with washing their hairless bodies, I don’t understand why they can't just lick themselves clean like me. They use this special mint soap, Eureka! This will clean that spill right up! I grabbed it in my mouth and just as Dad comes in, he catches me spraying the soap all over the puddle of pee. I had no idea how much to use, so I used it all. Oh I thought I was going to get it, but instead he was impressed that I had made the effort to attempt to clean up my own mess. Sure he hated the aftermath, but he told me later that he couldn't get mad at me for trying to solve my own problem. So there you go, I’m the brains of this operation.

I have a double coat, so I take a bit of a vacation during the summer and relax in the AC at home while Dad and his brewers steam the place up with bubbling wort. When it gets colder, I love going with him, even at the dog awful 4 AM hour. All he has to say is, “Hey Bernie, let’s go to work.” I yank my special seat belt harness off it’s hook in the kitchen and try to put it on myself with not a lot of luck. I can get it around my head, but Dad has to do the rest. I love the peace and quiet that early in the morning, I enjoy my kibble while he drinks his coffee and fills up the hot liquor tank. Dad commended me once from keeping him from going crazy. We had gone to work as usual, his other brewer couldn't make it in on account of some snow. It wasn't a lot, but traffic really slowed down to a grinding halt. We were stuck in the car for around 8 hours. Dad let me sit on the passenger front seat so he could talk to me better, and even gave me his coat when he noticed me shivering. We made it home, Mom was relieved to see us and she gave me a special treat and something for Dad too. His food looked better, so I tried to buy it off of him from the little stash of Milkbones I had put away for a rainy day. It didn't work.

 One more story and then I'm going to sign off, recently I supervised my Dad harvesting his homegrown hops. We wasn't around too long because he was going to run back to the brewery and do something called “Wet Hopping.” That was actually my idea . . . and he knew it. He even named it after me and called it “Bernie’s Backyard Harvest Ale.” I hear it was delicious. If they still have some, you should try it. If not, there’s always next year.

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