When life got rough for the community of Long Island, a local brewery decided to spread cheer (and beer) by bringing their friendly golden retriever pups along for an extra special delivery. As an essential family business, Six Harbors Brewery stayed open when the pandemic hit, but the once-crowded patio was empty without customers and their four-legged friends. So, founders Mark and Karen Heuwetter started delivering, alongside their two pups, Buddy and Barley, who just couldn’t pass up a ride in the truck. As customer favorites, Buddy and Barley decided to help with the family business and would greet customers at each delivery spreading cheer and hope with each case of beer.
“What happened was they kinda turned into therapy dogs. People were locked in their houses. They couldn’t do anything, so they would order beer,” Mark shared in an interview with The Business Download. “The folks loved them, they just absolutely adored seeing the dogs and getting that human feeling that they needed.” As recognition for their service delivering happiness in a time of isolation, Buddy and Barley were named some of the most Heroic Dogs of 2020 by Cesar Millan. In addition to comforting craft beer enthusiasts, Buddy and Barley helped ensure the deliveries were safe, sterile, and fun.
Buddy and Barley have their work cut out for them as people all over Long Island call up Six Harbors and order a case of beer with a side of puppy snuggles. This year they got a little extra help when their sister, Brandy, joined the team. At just seven months old, she’s already following in her brothers’ pawprints, delivering beer all around the neighborhood. “She’s coming along nicely,” Mark said. “She’s delivering. She’s following her brothers along the way, and before you know it, she’ll be a verified brew dog doing deliveries.” People call up the brew dogs for surprises, 21st birthday parties, or just a dose of dog love. Mark took inspiration for their delivery uniforms from the little whiskey barrel around the necks of St. Bernards. Don’t worry though, the one’s Buddy, Barley, and Brandy carry are just for show. Nobody wants those pup’s necks to get sore or for all that beer to get shaken up.
Six Harbors Brewery was dog-friendly even before it was fully built. Buddy, the oldest of the three, would hang around with the family as they first built out the nautical-themed space. When the first guests arrived, Buddy would walk out to greet them and walk them inside. Now that Six Harbors is open at a limited capacity, Buddy is bringing joy at every table and checking on each guest. “Buddy’s like the mayor down there. He walks around to everybody at the table,” Mark said. “He will run to every table and chair and say hello to people that [are] excited to be down there. He is a true brew dog.” If you see him, be sure to tip him with a few scratches behind the ear.
“We are a place that loves having dogs, and it shows,” Mark shared. “We have people that find out about us, and they come from all parts of Long Island. They know they can bring their dogs, get some good beer, hang out on the Adirondack chairs outside, and just chill with their friends.” After a year like 2020, most of us could use a beer, but everyone could certainly use some cuddles from a few professional brew dogs.