Paws for a beer

By on July 26, 2017

Pints for Pups raised money for homeless pooches

This beer event has gone to the dogs, literally.

A bit of heavy rain Saturday, July 22, couldn’t keep beer fans and their four-legged best friends from descending on Muhlenberg Township’s Jim Dietrich Park for the annual Pints for Pups festivity. The event raises money for homeless dogs and animal shelters with all proceeds going to The Humane Society of Berks County and The Humane League of Lancaster County.

“It’s a good way for us to get people, and their dogs, out and learn who we are, but also have a really good time,” said Mary Keller, marketing manager of Humane Pennsylvania. “We were definitely one of the first non-profits to get into (the beer scene).”

More a party than a traditional brewfest, Pints for Pups hosted vendors, dozens of raffle prizes, and world class entertainment from the premiere Jimi Hendrix tribute band Kiss The Sky — The Jimi Hendrix RE-Experience. Dog owners shopped for everything from professional dog portrait photography to all-natural dog treats.

Golden Avalanche Brewing Company’s Saison de l’Ours brewed with honey, lemongrass, and rosemary, in a cool, commemorative glass. (Photos by Michael Upton)

The three-hour event (plus a one-hour VIP pre-admission) sold out the day before. Due to space, tickets are limited to 500; that’s 500 total for VIP, general admission, designated driver, and Junior Pinters (kids) tickets. (There weren’t too many kids at the event, maybe due to the earlier rain.) The event is nestled in a far corner of the expansive recreation area on the scenic banks of the Schuylkill River, a 35-minute drive from downtown Ephrata. It’s the perfect spot for an animal friendly event.

Not to overlook the beers, drinkers had a huge selection to choose from. More than 75 different brews from all over the U.S. were available, mostly in bottle or can pours. Locally, Stoudt’s Brewing Company* and Mad Chef Craft Brewing had tents offering nice-sized samples into commemorative pint glasses marking the occasion. VIP banded guests could try special offerings like Sunday Hop, a dry hopped cider from Hardball Cider (Pen Argyl).

Honorable mention goes out to Golden Avalanche Brewing Company of Kutztown for bringing the most unique offering with their Saison de l’Ours. The “Season of the Bear” brew is a honey saison with lemongrass and rosemary clocking in at 5.8 percent ABV. The advertised flavors get a little lost in this beer, but I applaud the effort.

Pucker up, pups! Stuck being a designated driver? Why not raise some fund at the canine kissing booth?

A big thanks to Bailiwick Hair Center for letting me crash their reserved table so I could get a space to feed my face with an awesome meal from Mayo’s Classic Catering. On the event’s menu (included with admission) was a Carolina-style smoked pork slider, crispy southern fried chicken, buttermilk cole slaw, baked potato salad, fruit salad, pasta salad, Romaine salad, and an assortment of baked goods for desert.

Like I said, the event has more of a “hang-out and party” feel than a typical brewfest, which is kind of refreshing. There were no mad rushes or long lines for beers. People just found a spot and chilled by the river with their dogs. Next year I’ll have to find my own DD — designated dog — to bring along.

Cheers and thanks for reading!

*Stoudt’s will have their own pooch-friendly event on Saturday, Aug. 5. Bark + Beerfest runs from 1 to 5 p.m. in the Stoudt’s Biergarten with entertainment from Baltimore-based Americana band Red Sammy. Visit for tickets.

Michael C. Upton is a freelance writer specializing in arts and leisure. He welcomes comments at and

Ed and Carol Stoudt, and three-month-old Daisy, has a blast at the event.

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