AS MUSES GO, THERE MIGHT BE FAIRER …  but none more devoted and loyal. For that reason, when Eric Craver needed a name for his new brewery in Topeka, he looked no further than Gracie and Freckles, his six-year-old basset hounds, and thus Happy Basset Brewing was born in 2016.

Since then, Gracie and Freckles continue to influence Craver’s beer making, as Happy Basset serves up specialized brews with such names as Belly Rub Brown Ale and Rare Breed—an unfiltered American wheat. 

“One of our best-selling beers is named after Gracie,” Craver says. “It is called Gracie Strawberry Blonde. I also have a French-style saison that has been aging in Chardonnay and red-wine barrels for almost a year now that is getting soured with Brettanomyces and Pediococcus. This beer is going to be called Freckles.”

Crafting beers is what Craver, who continues as owner and brewer, loves doing best.

“I pretty much love every style of beer out there, “ says Craver, who began brewing 11 years ago. “I started out on a stovetop, then went to building my own brewing system to where I am today.”

As for Gracie and Freckles, they seem to be taking the success and fame in stride. 

“They both love taking naps and lying in the sun,” Craver says. “They also can get pretty rowdy sometimes, but that usually only lasts a half hour or so. They like to do their own thing when you try and call them or tell them something to do.”

For more information 
about Happy Basset and its rotating beer menu, visit


Villa West Shopping Center 

6044 SW 29th Street | Topeka, KS 66614


MURDER IN THE MINE: Mystery Dinner Theater

August 17 | Strataca, Hutchinson

This regular fundraising event fuses a meal with mystery. Guests interact with actors to solve a mystery—set 650 feet below ground—as they enjoy a buffet-style dinner. Past shows have included “Who Killed the 80s?” and “The Spy Who Killed Me.”


FOOD ETC.: Cupcake Challenge

August 4 | Wichita

In its second year, CityArts’ Cupcake Challenge brings Wichita-area bakers to face off in one of the state’s most delicious baking challenges. Ticketholders can taste-test the cupcake creations (yes, there is a people’s choice award), and all proceeds benefit CityArts’ scholarship program, which provides art supplies to underserved populations in the community.