Usually, I drink beer named after a person.  Miller, Yuengling, or Guinness.  But today, I'm going to do something different.  I'm going to drink a beer named after a dog.  

That dog is named Bowser.  He's 12 years old.  He's blind, and he is the inspiration for a beer made at Lavery Brewing in Erie. It's called Bowser's Blind Dog Brew.  The staff at Lavery's met Bowser and his owner, Annemarie Dammeyer, over three years ago.

"A few of my friends and family joined a curling league and Team Lavery was there and they had noticed Bowser because I would bring Bowser to curling.  They were intrigued by him because he's kind of interesting looking and he has a great story,” recalls Annemarie.

Jason Lavery, the Owner of Lavery Brewing, also remembers those curling matches. .

"They kept bringing this really cute dog named Bowser that had no eyeballs.  The whole crew fell in love with the dog,” he says.  

Annemarie, who adopted Bowser from the Erie Humane Society, collaborated with Lavery's. They came up with the idea of having a fund raising party to bring attention to sheltered dogs with special needs.  Bowser would be the special guest.  The party would be held at Lavery's. .  It also was decided to have a special beer named after Bowser to be made especially for the event.  Bowser's Brew Bash and his Blind Dog Brew were a big hit.

"I love it,” says Jason.  “Dogs and beer are two things that every single person loves, I think.  So yeah.  Combine the two.  No brainer."  

Bowser's Brew Bash in 2021 was such a big hit that it was decided to have the party again the next year. The honored guest was Jack, a dog with neurological disorders that make him appear mentally unsound.  Jack is so lovable that he was adopted by Nicole Leone, the humane society's executive director. Like Bowser, Jack is now a celebrity with his own beer.  It's called Jack's Second Chance Sour.

"I'm right there with Annemarie.  It's a really wonderful thing to celebrate these special animals,” says Nicole. 

This year, the special Dog of Honor is Rebel. Rebel came to the humane society after being neglected. He had a softball-sized mass growing in his mouth that had to be removed.  Rebel now has half a jaw and is loved by the family who adopted him.  Oh yeah, he also has an IPA named after him.

"I'm so proud of how far he's come.  It kind of makes me tear up a little bit.  He's a wonderful, loving soul that just deserves all of this,” says Bridgette Scoles, who calls herself Rebel’s “momager.” 

Three special dogs. Three special people who adopted them. And three special beers.

The 2023 edition of Bowser's Brew Bash is June 30 at the parking lot of Lavery's Brewing on 12th Street in Erie.  Admission is free.  Everyone who attends is invited to bring their own dog to the event.  It's the only time the special beers are sold to the public.