Fetchingly good beer

Laughing Dog Brewing to take over taps at National Beer Hall

Beer-lovers Brian Colledge and Shannon Earl travel frequently to Sandpoint Idaho which is where they fell in love with the brews of Laughing Dog Brewing. Unfortunately they couldn’t get their favourite beer in Calgary which bothered them so much they took matters into their own hands. They founded Hop & Vine Imports just so they could bring truckloads of Laughing Dog beer to Calgary.

It’s been a labour of love for the couple but being able to enjoy their favourite beer in Calgary has made the effort worth it. Better yet on March 25 the couple will get to show off their litter of Laughing Dog beers when National Beer Hall on 17th Avenue S.W. puts seven of them on tap at the same time. The beers will be available all day and at 6 p.m. Colledge and Earl have arranged for an entire roast pig to be available for like-minded Laughing Dog fans. Come early to enjoy these great beers before you pig out.

• Huckleberry Cream Ale — The colour of this beer which is deep gold doesn’t hint at the use of berries but once you take a sniff and follow it with a sip you’ll immediately notice the huckleberry. The underlying beer is fairly basic so the huckleberry flavour plays the starring role here.

• Purebred APA Citra — One of the hottest hop varieties in the world of craft beer is Citra. Purebred American Pale Ale is made solely with that hop which is one of the most expensive hops money can buy thanks to its popularity. Look for notes of pineapple lemon and mango.

• India Pale Ale — You can’t really call yourself a craft brewery unless you make a heavily-hopped beer. Laughing Dog’s version won a bronze medal for American-Style Strong Pale Ale at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival. Yep this one’s good!

• Rocket Dog Rye IPA — Once you’ve mastered a beer with lots of hops move on to a heavily-hopped beer made with a spicy grain such as rye. This beer’s hop bitterness has a sharpness to it but this compliments the gentle spiciness of the rye. The flavours will shoot you to the moon!

• Alpha Dog Imperial IPA — Alpha Dog is big. It has an oily viscosity that coats the tongue ensuring that its bitterness lingers long after you’ve swallowed the beer. If you love hops you’ll love this beer. If you don’t you might want to have another Huckleberry Cream Ale.

• Anubis Imperial Coffee Porter — There is something about the flavour of porter beers that makes them sing louder with coffee in them. Laughing Dog Anubis is no exception. This beer will wake up your tastebuds.

• Surprise — Colledge and Earl tell me there will be an additional surprise beer making an appearance on March 25 which will be the first time this beer is available in Alberta. They won’t tell me what it is so I guess I’ll have to go to National. See you there!