Pours For Paws in Noblesville: Exemplifying the Bond Between Craft Beer and Animals

Pours For Paws in Noblesville: Exemplifying the Bond Between Craft Beer and Animals

by Mark E. Lasbury for Indiana On Tap

Dogs and craft beer are great combination. Not hotdogs and beer, although that isn’t bad; what I mean is that it seems that brewers and craft beer fans really love dogs. People all around craft beer love to post photos of their dogs, tell you what they did that day, and bring them to the breweries whenever possible. There are even beers made especially for dogs. And now we have a craft beer festival fundraiser geared toward rescuing animals, Pours for Paws. This festival will benefit dogs and cats alike, but it may be that craft beer people have already picked a favorite between the two.

Metazoa Brewing in downtown Indianapolis is perhaps the quintessential dog-friendly taproom, although Bier Brewery comes in a close second. There are nights at Metazoa when dogs almost outnumber people, and for the most part, the dogs seem to play well with one another. Metazoa used to have a brewery cat, Charlie, but he would just disappear when all the dogs showed up. Likewise, Bier has a bunch of dogs, and they tend to be bigger dogs, even though the taproom is smaller. And they used to have a brewery python – just try to keep up with those Joneses.

It’s a similar story at other taprooms that allow animals; the result is that it appears that craft beer is dog-leaning. But perhaps that is just an illusion – lots of craft folk may have cats, they just can’t bring them to the taprooms. One, cats are too cool to hang out in breweries, and two, the dogs would get at them if they did make an appearance.

image credit: Pours for Paws

Walter and I are probably the strongest examples of craft beer fans being cat people. We have had more than a dozen cats over the years, but not one dog. And yet we still love craft beer with the best of them. We don’t dislike dogs, we play with everyone else’s dogs when we are at Metazoa or Bier, it’s just that we just tend to favor sharing our house with cats.

I’m sure there are other people around craft beer with cats, we just don’t hear about it much. For example, Jerry Wade is the owner of Mad Paddle Brewery in Madison, and he has cats. When I suggested that he get a brewery cat to patrol the 120 yr. old feed mill that now houses the brewery and taproom, he jumped on that idea. Unfortunately, this is at a time when many local health departments are disallowing brewery cats, but take my word for it, they do the job when it comes to keep rodents out of the malt.

Events at craft breweries for animals are big too. Metazoa is now in the middle of a campaign to expand their dog park, Bier had a dog show with prizes and competitions, Pints for Paws, Valpo Dog Fest, Hot Dog Showdown…. Oh wait, that one actually is about craft beer and hotdogs. And now the king of all craft beer festivals for the benefit of dogs and cats is coming to Hamilton County at the end of May.

Pours for Paws will benefit the Humane Society for Hamilton County, and will be held at the Embassy Suites Conference Center just off exit 210 on US69, at the east extreme of Noblesville on May 31st from 6pm – 10pm. Sean Webster, founder and owner of Monon Beverage Brokers has organized the festival to combine his two favorite things, animals and craft beverages. Monon Beverage Brokers turned two years old in October of 2018, and Sean was looking for a new way to promote his producer partners and at the same time connect with the craft community. He looked at his dog, Freya, and the idea came to him. Happy Birthday by the way to Freya, she just turned five.

image credit: Sean Patrick Webster

Freya, by far the the most important part of Monon, came to Sean via his old boss at the Heorot, the venerable Stan Stephens. Stan has a bunch of wolfhounds, but Sean was looking at Huskies. Stan brought him out a wolf/husky hybrid puppy and Sean was smitten. Freya walked right up to Sean on first meeting, so it was sort of like she picked him. I guess a festival for the benefit of animals probably started right then and there.

Sean’s connection to Noblesville and Hamilton County is strong, as he finished high school there and has spent a good portion of his post-Muncie years there. He coaches two Hamilton County high school sports teams, so the idea of doing this festival for Hamilton County’s Humane Society just seemed right, a way to give back to the community that helped him become the person he is.

Thirty breweries will be pouring beer at Pours for Paws, with craft beverages from four wine/cider producers and some non-alcoholic beverages too. Held indoors on a Friday evening, this event offers a different vibe than many summer festivals. Sean has attended a bunch of festivals, perhaps more than even Walter, so he knows what he likes and what he doesn’t. Pour for Paws will combine all the great features he has seen, and leave behind all the things he wants to avoid. Food will be available from the hotel chef, so this will beat many festivals right there, and most importantly, there will be puppies and kittens on hand for the event.

image credit: time.com

Plenty of animals up for adoption will showcased at Pours for Paws, but no adoptions will be done that day. Much like marriage, pet adoptions shouldn’t be entered into while under the influence. Nevertheless, you can sign up for interviews with the Humane Society at the festival and go in with the name of an animal(s) with whom you have fallen in love.

Pours for Paws is a great event for a great cause, and is located just minutes from many larger cities in Indiana. There’s no reason not to put it on your calendar now. Here’s the site for tickets to help you along. Even better, you should be rewarded with an additional bit of information because you chose to read this article. Pours for Paws is on a Friday night at a great new hotel in Noblesville which is only 15 minutes from Anderson; stay the night and then attend the Anderson On Tap Craft Beer Fest the next day. Many of the breweries at the two events will be different, so it sounds like a wonderful craft beer weekend to me.


Postscript: During the writing of this piece, Walter and I had to take one of our cats to the vet to be put down humanely. BE was a great cat; she was always so calm, even when her brother decided he was a dog and chewed on furniture and chased her around. BE, name for Upland’s Bad Elmer Porter, will be missed.

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