Have you ever looked down at your dog and thought: “Gosh, I wish they could enjoy this delicious craft beer with me.”
No? Fine, maybe that's just me.
Yet, however daft that thought might seem, Lewis Chase at Richmond-based Snuggo Dog Treats has started turning this fantasy into reality.
Stemming from an idea he had while out of work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lewis dove deeper into his love of craft beer, researching how different beers are brewed and the science behind them. It was during this research he realised there was the potential for a new business opportunity, as well as a way to help reduce waste.
“A lot of people during lockdown picked up a craft beer hobby,” he told The Crafty Pint. “I was already quite into my beers but I wanted to actually sit down and get my head around tasting notes and the deeper details of beer.
"I started looking at an online course about the science of beer brewing. Part of it was about the waste produced by the mashing process.
“It gave me the idea of turning that waste into something that dogs could enjoy.”
Once the wheels started turning, Lewis began reaching out to breweries to talk about potentially partnering with them. Brunswick East’s Temple Brewing Company was the quick to respond and the rest, as they say, is history.
“The first brewery that picked up the phone to answer my questions about what happens to their waste was Temple,” he says.
“I received a lot of support from their side… they helped me with some samples and really helped push me in the right direction in terms of making this a reality.
“The first batch involved some home baking for tests and getting some responses back from family and friends. Once I put together a prototype, I showed it to Temple who were very supportive about it. They were very kind in terms of stocking it and offering it to customers at their brewpub.”
Snuggo’s first official batch of dog treats, the Okinawa Sour Malt Dog Treats, was released in late September to a great response from the brewing and dog community, selling out quickly.
Moving forward, Lewis hopes to scale up production and work with more breweries not only to sell more dog treats, but to help recycle spent grain, something which breweries have been giving to farmers for livestock for years.
“I want to get to the stage where we can take on a larger percentage of their waste and make a real impact… that is the aim for the business,” Lewis says.
“As well as expanding and working with other breweries, it’s also going to be about having that relationship with other breweries and their partners so there can be a constant flow of waste reduction that we can provide for them.”
Lewis and Snuggo have already released their second batch of treats, partnering with South Melbourne’s Westside Ale Works to create Weekend Juice Malt Dog Treats.
You can check out Snuggo and order some craft beer dog treats here.