July 07, 2015

Meet Barley the Brew Pup

This one-and-a-half year old husky/corgi mix is a big fan of craft beer. Barley, adopted by San Franciscans Kristl Caron and Chris McGinnis about a year ago, started out modeling with his family’s home brews. But since discovering his talent in front of the camera, Barley now dons his shades, a muscle shirt, and his new favorite commercial bottle—Wolf Creek, Prairie Ales, Cool Beer Werks, to name a few—for the Instagram account @barleythebrewpup. His brew adventures have earned him 13,400-plus followers and growing.

Tell us a little bit about how Barley got into visiting breweries and beer.

Our previous pup was named Barkley. Chris had him for 12 years and traveled the country with him. When he passed on September 19, 2013, Chris said there was no way we are getting another dog. It was difficult losing him. In February/March of 2014, we started talking about getting another puppy. We had gotten into home-brewing a few months before, so we agreed our new pup’s name would be Barley—to pay respect to Barkley and to be a fun spin on our new home-brewing hobby. We realized very quickly that Barley was extremely photogenic and would do just about anything for some kibble. We started dressing him up and posing him with our home brews. After we saw Barley was gaining a bit of a following, we decided to take it a bit further and started posing him with commercial beers and more elaborate outfits.

How many breweries has he visited so far?

We estimate Barley has visited 25 to 30 breweries and taprooms. Most are ok with letting him run around and letting us snap some fun pictures. Of course, everything is staged and we don't actually give Barley any beer.

Does he have a favorite place to visit?

One of our favorite brewery trips was up to Six Rivers Brewery in Arcata, California, for their anniversary party this past St. Patrick's Day. It’s situated on a small hill overlooking the ocean. They have a beautiful deck and the staff and owners are just amazing. We partied all night, drinking their Moonstone Porter and Spicy Ale. They even set up a limo service (Barley’s one and only limo ride … so far) so that no one had to drive home. It truly was a fantastic event.

Barley is quite the fashion icon, too. Does he have a favorite outfit?

He’s a trooper when it comes to outfits. We have had him in everything from a simple tank top to a coconut bra—even a watermelon helmet. As far as favorite outfit, he is very comfortable in his "I Love Beer" tank and white sunglasses. They both just seem to fit him perfectly.

Does Barley help you guys brew any beer at home?

He’s big in the “helping do anything” category. He more likes to lay smack dab in the middle of the kitchen while we brew around him and have to continuously step over him. Of course, as soon as some spent grain is spilled, he pops up and starts hoovering the floor like a vacuum.

Does he have a goal for how many breweries to visit?

It seems there is no shortage of new breweries to visit. We have found that more and more of the new breweries are opening in more industrial areas which is great because those are usually dog friendly. When we travel, we pretty much set an end destination then look for breweries along the way. So who knows, maybe we'll get Barley to 100 someday.

What does Barley like to do in his off-hours?

Though Barley is not even two, he’s an old soul. (Or an extremely grumpy old man, as Kristl would say.) He usually gets up around 7ish, eats breakfast, then goes back to sleep for a few hours. We try to get him to the dog park a couple days a week to help keep him fit-ish and happy. We actually do dog-sitting in our home, so there’s usually another dog or two for him to run around with. Barley loves his toys in small doses, so he will go to his toy cage, pull them all out, and then lose interest. Just as Chris cleans them all up, he gains interest and pulls them out. It's a vicious cycle. Other than that, as long as he is fed and has a cool place to nap, Barley’s a happy pup.

Psst: Barley’s currently hosting a giveaway of our new 64-ounce red growler! To enter, follow @PortlandGrowlerCo and @barleythebrewpup on Instagram. Tag two friends. That’s it! If you want an extra entry, repost this picture on your account with the hashtag #BTBPGiveaway2. The winner will be chosen Wednesday, July 8 at 5pm PT.


Thanks to editor Rachel Deschepper for contributing this post to the PGC blog