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Long Beach Post
At Trademark Brewing’s Doodlefest, dogs and beer are a perfect pairing
By Alicia Robinson,
While dogs are always welcome at Long Beach’s Trademark Brewing, this time of year they’re guests of honor at the beer haven’s signature event, Doodlefest.
Inspired by brewery founder Sterling Steffen’s Australian Labradoodle, Millie, it’s Trademark’s twist on Oktoberfest. On Saturday, the brewery welcomed patrons and their pets with a three-piece band including an accordion player, plus bratwurst and potato salad, commemorative Doodlefest beer steins and plenty of suds—including their seasonal brew, Lagerdoodle.
“Oktoberfest is definitely a big deal in beer, and we wanted to do something that was a little unique and celebrate Millie and celebrate that Long Beach is such a dog-centric town,” Steffen said.
Some early afternoon drizzle may have dampened attendance, but among those stopping by to hoist a mug were Shannon Fiala and Jack, a Jack Russell/Yorkshire terrier mix in an outfit that included lederhosen, a red neckerchief and an adorable Tyrolean hat (the little green cap with a feather).
It was their first Doodlefest, and Jack seemed unbothered by his getup.
“I think he doesn’t mind the costume as much as he minds being around 500 other dogs,” Fiala said. “He’s more of an introvert.”
In addition to live music, food and plenty of tail wagging, Doodlefest included a dog costume contest as well as other games and activities.
Besides being welcoming to dogs, Steffen and his wife, Ilana, have tried to make their business more sustainable by using significantly less energy and water than most breweries to make their beer, he said.
Theirs seems to be a match made in beer heaven—Steffen said on their first date, he told Ilana, “You should know—I’m, like, really into brewing beer.” Once they got married, they combined his enthusiasm for hops and malt with her background in the hospitality industry, and Trademark was born.
As for Millie’s nickname, Lagerdoodle, which gave them the idea for Doodlefest, it originated the way all good nicknames should: according to Steffen, they don’t really know; “it just happened.”