I’ve said it before. Put a dog on the label, and you’ve got my attention. Pale Horse Brewing Co., from Salem OR, have done just that with their Hopyard Dog IPA, putting a handsome bulldog front and center. I picked this one up at Petaluma Market yesterday evening after a conversation with Jeffrey the Beer Guy about Oregon’s ubiquitous microbreweries (“And I though we had a lot of breweries down here,” confessed Jeffrey, having just visited Portland). And Maddie and I met a similar-looking bulldog while we were out for our walk this morning, which I took as a sign. So, how is it?

Hopyard Dog pours a bright, coppery orange with a thick, sandy-colored head with excellent retention and sticky clumps of lacing on the glass. Grassy hops on the nose with bready malt and grapefruit undertones. Bitter, earthy hops on the tongue, with hints of caramel and malt sugar. Fizzy carbonation. Crisp, refreshing mouthfeel. Bitter finish. Nicely balanced and very drinkable, but not much to distinguish Hopyard Dog from other West Coast IPAs. But if you like bitter, Hopyard IPA is a very good dog.

Speaking of good dogs, here’s Charlie, helping himself to a few ripe raspberries in the back yard. Charlie loves raspberries.

And here’s Miss Maddie, striking a pose for her own beer label. Hmmmm… I’m thinking a sweet pumpkin ale would be appropriate.