Melbourne’s lockdown has spawned many a by-product but a love for craft beer and dogs have certainly been some of the more popular past-times people have found to occupy their time. So when you combine an out-of-work events industry employee who has time on his hands with a love for craft beer, dogs and waste reduction you get the ultimate lockdown by-product – Snuggo dog treats made with the spent grain from making craft beer.

Snuggo launched their first dog treat product in late September in collaboration with Brunswick East’s Temple Brewing Co. The Okinawa Sour Malt Dog Treats uses the spent grain from Temple’s Okinawa Sour Blonde Ale and in doing so has a positive impact on the brewery’s waste output.

“I wanted to use my lockdown time wisely so I started to explore the world of craft beer and then it just seemed that everyone had either found a new love for craft beer or gone and got themselves a dog, or both,” Snuggo founder Lewis Chase said.

“Along with drinking craft beer, and trying to work out who’s who and what’s what within the Australian craft beer industry, I was doing an online course on the science of beer, about how and why things taste the way they do. And as I started learning about the mashing and malting I realised all this grain gets leftover and goes away as either the likes of cattle feed or as waste – especially for urban breweries who don’t have close access to farms.”

A receptive response from Temple later and almost half of what goes in to the Okinawa Sour Malt treats is spent grain from the brewery and, alongside peanut butter, flour, flaxseed meal and cinnamon (both good anti-inflammatories for dogs), they are vegan-friendly, hop free and non-alcoholic.

While Snuggo’s operations are currently small, Lewis said the ultimate goal is to take on as much of a brewery’s spent grain waste as possible. He’d like to see the treats become “an easy add on” for craft drinkers to pick up in a bottle shop or a brewpub “so they can share with their dog as they’re having a beer themselves”.

Another recipe is in the works with a South Melbourne brewery in what Lewis hopes is a long line of breweries coming on board to create a catalogue of collaborative dog treats.

“Our aim is to have a major impact on a brewery’s production waste output per batch,” he said.

“We’re committed to extending our reach so that Australian dog owners can access an alternative dog treat that contributes towards a positive environmental goal. The more people that support the concept, the larger our impact can be.”

Customers can buy the treats online, direct from the Temple Brewing Co and in local retailers.

“All the feedback we’re having is so good and people in the industry have been really receptive and welcoming. It’s been a really fun way to not only spend my lockdown time but get involved in the Australian craft beer industry.”

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