‘The BrewDogs of Colorado’ | SummitDaily.com

‘The BrewDogs of Colorado’

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news

You might remember Syndy Lu, the Huskie who came to work with Dillon Dam Brewery brewmaster Matt Luhr every day, hanging out under the picnic table until he finished his latest barrel. As Luhr passed away in a Denver hospital in October, 2008, Syndy Lu began a 7.5-hour vigil, in the form of soulful howls. Now Luhr’s fiance, Rusty Simmons cares for her.Syndy Lu is just one of the 70 dogs honored in “The BrewDogs of Colorado.” The 142-page book showcases 37 Colorado breweries, and the dogs that animate them -and often help inspire new names for beers.The self-published book was a family project. Brian Bennett, who has lived in Colorado Springs since 1973, joined his wife, Becky, and step-daughters Lauren and Kristen Olson, to create the book when Lauren Olson’s summer internship failed to materialize. As doglovers, the family had thought about the book for a couple of years, and last summer seemed like the perfect opportunity. Bennett’s daughters began contacting breweries and taking photos. On average, they processed more than 200 images to come up with every set of three publishable shots.Each family member’s talent and interest came together to create a wonderful book. Becky Bennett has an interior design degree, Kristen Olson has a cultural anthropology degree, Brian Bennett is an independent investment advisor and financial planner, and Lauren Olson is majoring in environmental studies. Once they completed the photo work and wrote the vignettes about the dogs, they hired a graphic artist to polish the project.They chose mostly independent breweries to showcase, and the ones that made the final cut turned out to be the ones the family was able to schedule and travel to within a summer.”We were looking for dog diversity and geographic diversity, and I think we achieved that,” Brian Bennett said. “It was so refreshing to hear that someone had a dog that wasn’t a lab. Not to say that we don’t like labs, but there are a lot of them and we didn’t want to do a book on the BrewLabs of Colorado.”More than half of the animals in the book are rescue dogs. In fact, one of the most fitting stories is that of Poppy (short for Popeye), of Old Mill Brewery and Grill in Littleton. Starved and abused, she lost her right eye.”I knew it was meant to be, since I am sightless in my left eye,” said owner and brewmaster Greg Shofner.Other dogs include a panty-eating dachshund from Phantom Canyon, a brewdog who ate a cell phone from Gore Range Whiskey, and Feisty, who eats anything plastic, including sunglasses, pens, plastic balls, soda caps, water bottles and remote controls. The book even includes a foreword by Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, a dog owner and Colorado brewpub pioneer.”For those who read the book, we hope that it brings information, a bit of insight, but most of all we hope that it brings people smiles and makes them feel good,” Brian Bennett said.Oh, and rest assured: As the authors state in the intro, “No dogs were harmed or intoxicated in the production of this book.”