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A Visit to the New Laughing Dog Brewery

Due to overwhelming demand the Laughing Dog Brewery was forced to leave their smaller and tighter facility and move into a much larger one down the road.  Even without the new fermenters that will be delivered in the next 6 to 8 weeks, Laughing Dog has already increased production over 91% from first quarter last year and is falling behind on orders, so the new fermenters will come just in time, if not a little late…

So far this year Laughing Dog is on pace to produce about 6,000 barrels of beer, and that is great news to those of us here in Idaho that love this stuff.  It’s also good news for Fred Colby’s distributors that want more all the time.  Inside is where most of the changes have occurred.

This is where most of the changes at Laughing Dog will take place.  The row of fermenters in the background will be augmented by another row of five new fermenters right in front of these.

This is where the beer goes from the brew kettles to the fermenters.  More hoses is all they need to more than double their production.  In addition to these changes, this new location gives them the ability to do a little more.

Here on the side of the brewery, Fred has planted hops.  Don’t worry, the dandelions have not taken over, the places where there are red flags show the locations of the hop plants and they have all been weeded around so they can grow unencumbered.  Once the hops get a little bigger they will mow down the weeds.  I’m not certain what kind these are, (I was several Barleywines in when Fred told me), but I think he said Nugget and Goldings?  Not sure, but one thing is for sure there will be on premise hops before too long.

Fred is actually decorating with hops too.  He has about 8 or 10 barrels with hops growing in them that will grow up the trellis and then along the roof from a suspended wire or string.   This should make the brewery look really cool, and smell amazing.

There are other plans afoot too, but they are in the very early planning stages, so I promised I would keep my mouth shut, but be looking for big things from Laughing Dog in the near future.  Oh, and I actually got to meet Ben, the Laughing dog himself, and his ADHD son Ruger, at Fred’s home.  Also got to sample some outstanding AH Hirsch 21 Year old Rye Whiskey.  All in all a great day in Sandpoint, Idaho.

-Don

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10 Comments on “A Visit to the New Laughing Dog Brewery”

  1. johnking82
    May 25, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    Ohhh, he’s a goooood puppy dog. I have a similar picture with Ellie (not the original) from Avery.

    Glad to see they are expanding, I enjoy (and get) the Doggfather here in KY.

    Just hope Ben doesn’t go chewing on those hops…great post.

    • Don
      May 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

      Yeah, Ben and Ruger stay home these days. Ruger is way too much of a hand full to let loose in the brewery. Plus they have access to the hops growing on Fred’s property and they pretty much leave them alone. I got to drink some Barrel aged Dogfather that were aged in Elijah Craig barrels. Nice stuff! Plus I think I drank my weight in Rocket Dog, their rye IPA. Had a sistel of it at the clubhouse where we hung out when we weren’t other places!

      • johnking82
        May 25, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

        I’ve had the barrel aged, it was pretty dang good as well. I need a dog.

  2. May 25, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    Nice post Don! Looks like you had a good time. I have yet to try any of their beers, but have seen them on the shelves. Gonna have to pick some up and report my findings.

    Cheers!
    G-LO

    • Don
      May 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm #

      You won’t be disappointed G. Fred is one of those brewers that gets it. Not a bad brew in the bunch.

  3. May 25, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    Did the dog actually laugh?

    • Don
      May 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm #

      Looks like it didn’t it? He is just a really REALLY Happy Boy!

  4. May 25, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Very cool! Its great to see them becoming such a success in what must otherwise be a barren wasteland. 🙂

    • Don
      May 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

      Gee Scott, now you sound like my father. That’s ok though, you just continue to think of it that way. More for us. Of the wasteland that is.

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