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Title: 5th Annual Hair of the Dog Wine & Beer Tasting and Art Show to Benefit MSPCA

Location: Essex Art Center – 56 Island Street – Lawrence

Description: The 5th Annual Hair of the Dog Wine & Beer Tasting, a benefit for the Methuen MSPCA’s Nevins Farm, will take place on Friday, May 1st, 2009 from 6pm-9pm.

The event will be hosted by the Essex Art Center, located at 56 Island Street in Lawrence.

The benefit event comes at a time when three MSPCA animal care and adoption centers in other parts of the state are being closed. The closures will be coupled with downsizing at the organization, which in 2008 lost over $11 million, more than 25% of its endowment. “That loss makes it more important than ever for people to come out and support us this year,” said Sheri Helman, who with her husband, Michael, owns Andover’s Shawsheen Village Liquors. The Helmans founded the event and donate all the beer and wine for the tasting.

Last year, Hair of the Dog raised more than $8000 for Nevins Farm. Once again, 100% of all ticket proceeds will go directly to it; so will 10% of all liquor and art sales. In addition, one of the dog-friendly wineries whose wines are being featured will donate $1 for every bottle of its wine sold at the event.

The winery is Hugh Hamilton of Australia, parent company of JimJim, whose namesake is a canine and whose website proclaims: “This is God’s own country for growing grapes and being a dog.” Featured wines from that vineyard will include “The Rascal,” a shiraz; “The Scallywag,” an unwooded chardonnay; and the new blend, Knick Knack Paddy Wack Ossie Red.

In all, there will be 50 wines from four continents, and crafts beers from some of the best small breweries in the country. There will also be appetizers, donated, prepared, and served by Whole Foods Market Andover.

Last year, Whole Foods became a sponsor of the event, attended by nearly 300 people.

In keeping with the MSPCA’s statement of belief, this year will feature an animal-friendly menu. That means any meat served will be from sources independently confirmed to follow minimum standards pertaining to the humane treatment of animals-i.e., “Certified Humane.” Whole Foods meat department standards themselves stipulate no antibiotics ever, no added hormones ever, and a vegetarian diet for all farm animals. In addition, Whole Foods works only with local farmers and ranchers who raise animals humanely and naturally in a free-roaming setting.

As always, a wide range of artists will have works on view and for sale at the tasting. The artists include jewelry makers, potters, painters, sculptors who work in clay, and artists who work in fabric. In keeping with the animal theme, some are bringing animal-themed art.

Also, back by popular demand, the White Street Band, a Chicago style blues band with a rock and roll edge, will provide live music.

Tickets for attending the tasting are: $25 at the door, or $20 in advance. Tickets can be purchased at Shawsheen Village Liquors, 4 Poor Street, Andover, (978) 475-3636; at the MSPCA, Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway (Route 28), Methuen, (978) 687-7453, Ext. 6118; or online at:

For more information, please visit:

and click on “Great Wines for Great Causes.”

Start Time: 18:00

Date: 2009-05-01

End Time: 21:00