By Kevin Collison
It was a true dog day afternoon in the East Crossroads Sunday, with hundreds of hounds and their owners enjoying a microbrewery tour organized by Beer Paws.
The first-ever “Pup Crawl” event by Waldo-based Beer Paws included nine breweries and other businesses, and was a laid back way for owners to chill with a cold one while their best friends sniffed and wagged their way through the friendly confines of the Crossroads.
“It was so much bigger than we anticipated,” said Crystal Wiebe, founder of Beer Paws. “My mind was blown from the outset, it was an awesome way to celebrate our fifth year in business.”
Five years ago, Wiebe started her business selling bottle openers attached to dog collars. She branched out into other pet products always with a portion of the proceeds going to support rescue shelters and other dog-themed charities.
Her big idea was transforming spent grains from microbreweries into dog treats she called beer biscuits. Wiebe said the pulpy byproduct made a nutritious, high-fiber treat for pups. Since then, she’s branched out into making doggy beer as well–for dogs.
She now works with 50 different breweries around the country making beer biscuits and doggy beer.
Crossroads breweries contributing spent grains to the cause are, appropriately enough, Casual Animal; Border Brewery and Double Shift Brewing Co. They also participated in the crawl.
The first-ever Crossroads Pup Crawl went from 1- to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The cost for a general admission passport was $12. It included a “Drinking Buddy” bandana for your dog, and a doozie for the owner. For $25, you could get a VIP passport that got you more than $50 worth of swag from businesses.
Participants checked in at Double Shift. If you got your passport stamped at six locations, your pup got a special prize from Beer Paws.
Wiebe said 275 tickets were sold for the tour, and many other people just came to enjoy the menagerie.
There was a pop-up Beer Paws tent at Grinders, with treats, merchandise, Meowijuana and Slik Hound products available. Other Crossroads merchants involved were Brewery Emperial, Lifted Spirits, Ruins Pub, Tail Waggin’ Pet Shop and Dog Pawz.
A raffle also raised more than $600 for 13 different animal rescue organizations.
The next Pup Crawl is scheduled for June 9 in North Kansas City with Chicken N Pickle as its starting point. It will benefit the Great Plains SPCA.
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