Circle Tail Barks, Bourbons & Brews Fundraiser


I have been lucky enough to get some great coverage for Tonic Tours’ beer tours and bourbon tastings in the last year, including being featured in the Cincinnati Enquirer’s article on beer tours. After that story ran I was approached by a group called Circle Tail to ask if I would be interested in donating a bourbon tasting for the raffle of their Barks, Bourbon & Brews event that is being held next Saturday at New Riff Distillery. I have been asked to do things like this in the past but this is the first time I have agreed to donate something because this event and organization are really aligned with my business and with my values. Circle Tail is an organization that provides service and hearing dogs for people with disabilities at no cost to the individual and they also facilitate adoptions for non-service dogs. This mission really resonated with me because I am a special education teacher for my day job and my first job in high school was to volunteer for an animal shelter. Helping people with disabilities and homeless animals are two very important things in my life so I was thrilled to get involved. Not to mention that I will take any opportunity to hang out at a distillery.

Even if the cause doesn’t melt your heart this sounds like an incredible event. In addition to being able to tour the distillery and getting to meet some of the service dogs in training, there will be a “dinner by the bite” with an open bar and a raffle. The raffle has several fabulous prizes but of course the biggest one (in my opinion) would be the bourbon tasting offered by Tonic Tours. If you win this prize you just name the date and I will show up at your house with three great Bourbons, ready to educate you and 9 of your closest friends about bourbon. Tickets are still available so I very much hope to see you there next Saturday. Here is all of the information you need to get registered.


Barks, Bourbon, & Brews
Saturday, September 27 from 6 – 10 p.m.
New Riff Distillery & Event Center, Newport, KY
Share an exclusive evening with us at the newest stop on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, New Riff Distillery & Event Center. Enjoy distillery tours, dinner by the bite, and local bourbon and beer with a panoramic view of the city. Proceeds benefit the dogs of Circle Tail and the people whose lives they change. Space is limited – register today! Info & Tickets:
About Circle Tail, Inc.: Circle Tail is a local nonprofit organization that provides free service and hearing dogs to people with disabilities, dog adoptions, educational programs, obedience training, behavior management and boarding services.

Fifty West and MadTree Brewing team up with Michael Makin in event benefiting Starfire U

The folks from MadTree Brewing brought to my attention an event they will be collaborating in with Fifty West and the nonprofit Starfire U. The event is being held at Fifty West’s taproom on June 5 and will benefit Starfire U. Tickets are already on sale and information on the event and Starfire can be found below. This looks like a great event from two of our newest local breweries and the ticket proceeds go to a fantastic cause. Get yourselves over there and drink some beer for charity!

Regarding the event:

The Brew Review hosted by Michael Makin and friends is a premiere event in collaboration with MadTree Brewery and Fifty West Brewing Company.

Tickets are on sale now! $30:

The event features a commemorative glass, dinner by the bite, and craft beer tastings including a new custom brew brought to you by Michael Makin and friends, MadTree Brewery and Fifty West Brewing Company to be debuted night of the event.

Also available for purchase are custom growlers celebrating the event as well as basket raffles.

Stay tuned for updates and visit our webpage at:

About Starfire:

Starfire U is a four year community building experience for adults with disabilities, that was launched in 2008. With a focus on helping every member build their own social network, Starfire U works with members to pursue a future that is positive and possible. Through exploration, service, community immersion, and collaborative projects, every member has the opportunity to learn about themselves. Daily seminars are offered on topics such as communication, safety, transportation, health, citizenship, and technology. Each year has a particular focus that leads toward building connection in the community:

Year 1. Exploring people’s interests, abilities, and communities
Year 2. Discovering the path to a good life through PATH meetings
Year 3. Cultivating relationships outside of Starfire through personalized community placements
Year 4. Contributing to the community through projects and collaborations

Because the focus is on the person’s unique goals and dreams, by the end of Starfire U’s four years, no two experiences look alike. But every member will be encouraged to:

  • Contribute skills
  • Engage in a diverse community
  • Get to know neighbors
  • Access the gifts of others
  • Host events and co-create projects

For more information contact Kathy Forte at or 513.281.2100 ext. 107