Barks for Beers has become an almost legendary fundraiser in Austin that a few of the participating breweries have already run out of glassware, just a few days in.

Local nonprofit Divine Canines launched Barks for Beers this weekend for the fifth year running, and it appears to be off to a roaring start already. How it works is pretty simple: For $30, which will get you a souvenir glass, you’ll be able to enjoy a free pint at the 25 participating breweries throughout the month of May.

Each one — including many new breweries like the Brewtorium, Southern Heights Brewing and Pflugerville’s Flying Man Brewing — is selling specially branded Barks for Beers pint glasses and a "pawsport," which will mark off your progress as you make your way to each brewery during their tasting room hours.

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Three of these places, namely Suds Monkey Brewing, Strange Land Brewery and Whitestone Brewery, have already run out of the glasses, although pawsports are still available. It’s a sign that Divine Canines, which provides free therapy dog services to the people who need them, is going to have no problem reaching its financial goals again. Barks for Beers is the organization’s primary fundraiser every year.

Strange Land Brewery is one of the returning Barks for Beers breweries, but the West Lake Hills brewery has already run out of pint glasses this year.

Arianna Auber / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

"We’ve got a lot of excitement around our event this year and anticipate that it will continue the trend of dwarfing the previous year," Barks for Beers organizer Mike Pizinger said.

He said part of the reason it’s become so popular is that it provides an easy way for people to visit the breweries they haven’t explored yet. Many of them are clustered closely together (such as Adelbert’s Brewery, Circle Brewing, Oskar Blues and Celis Brewery), so Barks for Beers participants can go on a brewery crawl in one afternoon.

"We did a survey of some of last year's patrons and we got some great data," Pizinger said. "No surprise that one of the top reasons they like Barks for Beers is because it exposes them to new breweries. On average, patrons visited 18 breweries during the event. And they were 90 percent likely to purchase a beer at a bar/restaurant or grocery store if it was from a brewery they had visited."

Thirsty Planet, one of Barks for Beers’ early supporters, still doesn’t have an up-and-running taproom in its new South Austin facility just yet, but the brewery did promise that it will honor your pawsport once the taproom does open. 

Keep an eye on Divine Canines’ Barks for Beers page for up-to-date information about the participating breweries and where you can get your hands on glassware.

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