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Portland Pet Food Company turns brew waste into dog treats

The Portland-based company turns spent grain, a byproduct of beer production, into treats for dogs.
Credit: stock.adobe.com

PORTLAND, Ore. — The PDX based Portland Pet Food Company has made some big strides in the world of pet products. Their latest innovation is delicious dog treats made of brewers waste.

The flavored snack bites take advantage of a readily available byproduct in Portland: spent grain. For anyone unfamiliar with how beer is brewed, it usually involves the fermentation of grains like barley which produce alcohol. However once the beer has been tapped brewers are typically left over with a sludge of "spent grain" which has little to no use in the brewing business.

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With both a commitment to sustainability, as well as improving the health of pups, the Portland Pet Food Company capitalized on this cheap and nutrient-rich source of fiber. While the mash of soppy grain hardly looks appetizing to humans, the mixture is already being fed to farm animals such as cattle and hogs.

Although farmers are quickly catching on, a good portion of spent grains generated by breweries in Portland are tossed. However, there is no exact count of how much spent grain goes to waste annually. When Portland Pet Food Co. started cranking out its "Brew Biscuits" in 2014, they needed about a bucket of those spent grain per batch.

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Now, using a mixture of spent grains and natural flavors, the company processes multiple pallets of waste at a time. The biscuits are available in stores like Whole Foods nationwide and cost around $10 for a five-ounce bag.

Portland Pet Food Co. used as much as 13,000 pounds of brewers waste in 2021. This year they're aiming to more than double that number by upcycling 30,000 pounds of spent grains. For reference, 30,000 pounds of grain is enough to produce 17,000 gallons of beer or 136,000 individual pints.

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Although the treats are not intended for human consumption, Portland Pet Food Co. offers a variety of flavors that sound very appetizing. From "organic pumpkin" to "hearty beef broth" there is sure to be a flavor for every pooch. In addition to their "Brew Biscuits" Portland Pet Food Co. also creates individually packaged dog meals that are made with USDA certified, all natural ingredients.

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