Five beverage businesses that were inspired by dogs

Fun and relatable branding is made easy when there’s a dog in your logo and products. The canines that inspired the looks of these beverage businesses know how to sit, stay and sell.

Dog and Suds
Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co., which has a Great Dane dog logo that matches the company’s name, offers a wide variety of beers and pub-inspired dishes. But interestingly enough, when the business — which was almost named The Great Jones Brewing Co. after the nickname of the owners’ college house — was named The Great Dane, it wasn’t after the dog breed. Co-founder Eliot Butler had heard a radio host call the former Dane County Coliseum “The Great Dane.” With a local connection and good feedback, they changed the name and have been running with it ever since. The logo has evolved since the business opened in 1994; it once incorporated the full body of a Great Dane and now features just the dog’s head. Despite the canine holding little relevancy at the beginning, it’s now likely any Madisonian could identify the business simply by glancing at the Great Dane in its logo. The brewery also has a hard seltzer line called Dog Daze. 123 E. Doty St., 608-284-0000; 876 Jupiter Drive, 608-442-1333; 357 Price Place, 608-661-9400; 2980 Cahill Main, Fitchburg, 608-442-9000;

Picked for a Pup
The three owners behind Rusty Dog Coffee believe there’s “a home for every dog,” and this idea is a guiding principle for the family business founded in 2013. Tom Koren, Tony Bitner and Manny Figueroa designed the logo and named Rusty Dog Coffee after Koren’s Hungarian vizsla, Teca, who has a rust-colored coat. All three owners have pets and think of them as an integral part of their families. The company’s love for dogs is evident in its efforts to raise money for local shelters and animal rescues when it can, and in hosting occasional outings at The Boneyard, a biergarten/dog park where people can bring their dogs and grab a beer or coffee. 888-901-4146,

Bailey’s Beverage
It makes sense that a dog-friendly winery would also have a dog in its name and logo. Bailey’s Run Vineyard is a family-owned winery in New Glarus that spotlights a member of the founding family: a goldendoodle named Bailey. Bailey spends a lot of time at the winery, and guests are often greeted by the mascot, whose outline is featured on most bottles. Bailey’s Run Vineyard is open year-round, seven days a week, and each weekend, it hosts events and live music. The winery has a lot of outdoor space, with some shaded areas so families can spend a chill afternoon with their pups. N8523 Klitzke Road, New Glarus, 608-496-1966,

Mix to the Rescue
Long-time friends and dog owners Wesley Strey and Scott Schoenmann founded Strey Dog Mix after bonding over Old-Fashioneds, crafting a recipe mix they loved and deciding they wanted to work together on a business. Strey Dog Mix is ​​made from scratch and includes real spices from handcrafted bitters — all you have to do is add your desired spirit. Strey Dog Mix production began at the north-side FEED Kitchens in Madison in 2017. The company’s name is a play on words and reflects their love of animals. Strey Dog’s original logo, which was updated last December, was a silhouette of Schoenmann’s rescue shelter dog, Deagle. While the logo has changed, there’s still a stylized image of a dog on every bottle, and the company also supports local dog-related initiatives.

Distilling and Dachshunds
Lake Mills’ Dog and Shrub Distillery focuses on sourcing as many local ingredients as possible. The company’s name comes from a love and appreciation for the pets of everyone involved with the business. The owners have two long-haired dachshunds named Mabou and Digby, so a little dachshund appears on the logo in their honor. Some of the drinks you’ll find at the small, dog-friendly craft distillery are also named after the dachshunds. Stepping into the tasting room, you’ll see photos of the “canine companions” of family and friends. Owner Kim Campbell says that the use of “dog” in the name is also a play on words, as unaged whiskey is sometimes called “White Dog” when in its clear, colorless form. 145 Industrial Drive, Lake Mills, 920-945-0545,

Emily Knepple is a Madison Magazine editorial intern.


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