Dog beer

Me and my best mate Kuri shared a beer with Paul McGurk from Wigram Brewing recently. Yes that’s right, Kuri the dog.

On a crisp, yet clear Canterbury afternoon, Kuri and myself went to check out the hype surrounding Wigram Brewing’s new Dog Beer. Ku-Dog downed her beer quicker than a student at a flat party, and proceeded to try to eat the biodegradable bowl it was poured into. It’s not just the dogs that dig it. It’s had heaps of attention on social media and made mainstream media platforms too.

dog beer
Ashley and Kuri share a beer. Photo / Ashley Cassin

McGurk’s Dog Beer was born out of his love of canines and an idea to offer more to the drinker’s best friend after the brewery’s Dog Day Afternoon event in late 2021. The first guinea pigs for the brew were Paul’s dogs Blitzer and Marmite. The tasting panel extended to include the pooches Ella and Patch. All four endorse the product on the side of each can. Paul’s about to move into the fifth batch of the stuff. The dogs just can’t get enough of it and punters loving being able to share a beer with their constant companions.

The beer helps keep the vet at bay as it’s full of various health benefits. It also is a novel and affordable treat. The packaging adds to the story also with a range of four collectible cans featuring the famous dog artwork of American Arthur Sarnoff.

A beer with your best mate is always great fun. But what if your best friend is a dog? Wigram Brewing has the answer.

Previously this concept would have been called “barking” mad but Wigram has shown what’s “paw-sible” (excuse the “ruff” dad jokes but with a 14-month-old at home I can’t resist “unleashing” some practice). 

Now if you take Ku-Dog’s word for it and you’d like to try one, well, get one for your best mate to try, visit or at the brewery itself in Christchurch (57 Sonter Road, Wigram). Retailing from one can at $5 and wholesaling in slabs of 24. 

While Dog Beer is new, Wigram is a long-standing part of the beer community, with a 20th birthday coming up later this year. From humble beginnings in McGurk’s garage they now offer tours, tastings, retail, a fillery and bar. As in many New Zealand businesses McGurk holds most roles in the company from brewer to sales and logistics, host to chef and barman, along with everything in between.

While Ku-Dog lapped up Dog Beer I enjoyed Wigram’s Captain Fantastic Morning Glory hazy IPA. Due to popularity they were out of stock of my all-time favourite Spruce Beer, modelled on the rimu and manuka infused beer first brewed by James Cook to ward off scurvy in his crew.