Somewhere in the middle of Idaho sits a corgi/husky rescue named Barley. He shakes, rolls over, loves peanut butter, rocks sunglasses, and even throws on the occasional watermelon helmet or Santa costume. But that’s not all—he’s doing this next to the hottest new craft beer releases. His handle is Barley the Brew Pup, and—you guessed it—he’s big on Instagram.
Barley’s mom and pop, Chris McGinnis (a brewer at nearby County Line Brewery who writes Barley’s reviews) and Kristl Caron of Boise, don’t labor for hours over the shot, because once Barley’s in position, they’ll have 30 seconds to three minutes until he bounds away to smell that thing over there. But for those three minutes his eyes are in fierce concentration, an Olympian staring contest with his treat can full of Royal Canin kibble.
“He’s crazy food-motivated,” said Kristl, “As soon as he thinks you have a treat in your hand, he completely focused on you.”
Let’s pause for a moment to appreciate how chill Barley is with this cucumber saison, on a cloudy summer’s night:
Kristl adopted Barley in 2013 and the account started in 2014 as a way to share photos with their families, because just look at the guy:
I'm continuing my #Merica b-day celebration with a @StoneBrewingCo RuinTen. This baby is like a hop punch from the big guy himself!????????????☺️ Yeah, I've got a pink flamingo keeping my beer safe, but hey, why not!???? #ItsJustOneOfThoseDays #FlamingosCantBeTrusted #ILoveSwimming #NotReally #Bullets2Bandages #StoneBrewingCo #HopPunchLikeNoOther #RuinTen #ThisIsABeastOfABeer
26.1K followers and counting agree that this is the best way to review beer:
The longest day of the year may have just passed, but the mercury just keeps rising!????☀️ It's officially summer, so I'm rocking my grass skirt and coconut bra (thanks, Mom ????), trying to keep cool with a delicious Summer Solstice from @AndersonValleyBrewing. Summer Solstice is a slightly sweet, malty session beer with a creamy mouth feel and clean finish. At 5% ABV and 6 IBU, the unique flavors and superior drinkability make for the ultimate refreshment on a hot summer day. Bahl Hornin'! ???? #MyEyesAreUpHereLadies #EyesOffTheCoconuts #WhyMomWhy #TheSkirtIsntSoBad #NiceAndBreezyActually #BahlHornin
I know what you’re thinking—are they getting paid for this? Is this all a genius marketing scheme? Nope. Kristl and Chris just share the beers they try and really love, except for beer giveaways, which are done with the breweries. “Maybe we’ll do shirts or pint glasses or stickers,” said Kristl, “We don’t want it to be work, we want it to be something we enjoy.”
In one of the most popular shots, Barley reviews 21st Amendment’s Hell or High Watermelon wheat beer wearing a custom watermelon helmet—complete with ear holes. As soon as they got the shot, said Kristl, “The helmet fell on the ground, and he went after it and started munching on it.” Exhibit A:
Throwing it back with an oldie but goodie tonight… I guess you could say I've got watermelon on the brain! ???????? A year ago today, my crazy uprights made a watermelon helmet for me to wear while enjoying @21stamendment's Watermelon Wheat. It's the perfect beer to kick off the summer, and I can't wait to get my paws on some soon! Happy #ThrowbackThursday, furriends! #WatermelonOnTheBrain #IHaveATinyHead #WatermelonBeer #TastesLikeSummer #ITriedToEatMyHelmet #LittlePiggy #TBT #ThirstyThursday
Barley’s dedication to the seasonality of beer—and formal wear—is truly admirable:
Happy Sunday everyone!! This weeks pumpkin beer review is @AlmanacBeer Pumpkin Sour. Almanac brews a sumptuous spiced brown ale and ages it for months in wine and Woodford Reserve Bourbon barrels with hand-roasted California heirloom pumpkins. The result is a tart and complex celebration of the harvest season, and the perfect mate for savory Thanksgiving staples and bourbon pecan pie. At 8.5% ABV, and a high tartness level, this is definitely a tasty sour that is meant to be sipped rather than chugged.???? #DadIsASipper #MomIsAChugger #ThisIsTheUprightsFavoritePicture #SorryIfTheInternetBreaks #AlmanacBeer #Almanac #Pumpkin #PumpkinBeer #DraftMag
But no, Barley doesn’t actually drink the beer, it makes him sneeze. “We’ve made it a point not to let him drink it because hops are poisonous to dogs, and then obviously alcohol isn’t good for him,” said Kristl, “He’s just here for the food.”
Because it's Furiday, I thought my #FlashBackFriday should have a beer in it to help get the weekend started. So here is one of my Uprights favorite pictures of me. I was enjoying a DELICIOUS Espresso Oak Aged Yeti by @GreatDivideBrew. In my opinion, this is the best Yeti out there. Can't wait to get my paws on some more!???? #YetiForTheWin #SorryBegginLovers #PreMatureFBFPost #GreatDivide #ILoveStouts #FavoritePic #StaySmiley #puppysketch