Enjoy A Group Of Dogs

July 22, 2020

While golden retrievers Bentley, Riley, Tucker and Sugars splashed in the Wyomissing Creek, their owners cooled down with cold beers.

The canine playmates were part of a friendly group of seven dogs and eight people to enjoy Dogs & Brews at the Reading Public Museum.

The seventh annual event benefited the museum’s educational programs and the Animal Rescue League of Berks County.

“Usually, we do some kind of yearly project with the ARL,” Lindsay Crist, museum director of community development, said. “It’s a good relationship.”

Crist said the annual beer tasting event typically draws 500 to 600 people and their pets, but the number of tickets sold this year was limited to 200 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“This year is definitely a lot smaller,” she said.

Other adjustments included social distancing and mask-wearing while walking on the museum grounds.

The $45 ticket price included one adult drinking ticket and tasting glass.

Tickets for designated drivers were available at a reduced price and included unlimited non-alcoholic beverages.

The event also included musical entertainment by Dave and Amy Lewis of Mo7s, food truck offerings and craft vendors.

Sharliene Bowers and her husband, Tom Rhoads, of Ruscombmanor Township relaxed on a bench outside with their dog, Jaeger, at their feet.

Bowers said she had sampled several beers and planned to try a few more. Rhoads, as designated driver, stuck to soft drinks, while Jaeger quenched his thirst at the canine water stations.

An American Kennel Club champion and certified therapy dog, the friendly German shepherd caught the attention of twin sisters Kenley and Rowan Schmidt, 2, and their brother, Carter, 4.

The children were with their mother, Jessica Schmidt, whose husband, Lucan, is cofounder with Josh Taylor of the Schaylor Brewing Company, Cumru Township, one of 12 microbreweries represented at the event.

Though attendance was limited, Crist said, the number of breweries was about average.

Several yards from the event midway, the retrievers and their owners grouped under popup tents near the creek bank.

The friends, who live throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, met three years ago at a Golden Jubilee at Dewey Beach, Dela., and bonded over their mutual interest in retrievers, said Bonnie Thomas of Allentown, who with her husband, Allan, owns Bentley and Tucker.

This was the second year they attended Dogs & Brews as a group.

“We have a lot of fun together,” Allan Thomas said.

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