When I was presented with the opportunity to attend and serve as a blog sponsor for Wiggle Butts Uncorked, I was also given the chance to include an item in guest swag bags. I spent a lot of time contemplating what items I wanted to include. It was important to me, that I include the two main focuses of this site - dogs & drinking. Thoughts of cork coasters, personalized koozies, and fancy bottle openers danced in my head.
Then, at a time when I do my best thinking (when I’m lathering rinsing, and repeating) it came to me. “Duh, Bryn...spent grain dog treats!” It marries my two favorite things, and was perfect for my addition to the swag bag.
Spent grain originates from the beer brewing process. To be put simply, beer is made with: water, barley, yeast, and hops. The barley is actually converted to sugar in the beer making process, which is where the fermentation originates. After it has performed its, very important, job the barley is no longer necessary. To be frank, it’s spent! Which is where we swooped in!
Our pals at a local brewery, Amherst Brewing Company, generously provided a bucket full of spent grain. Some other key ingredients, some quality time in the kitchen, and voila (said in my best attempt at a French accent), you’ve got yummy dog treats!
Four ingredients are used to make these treats - spent grain (no hops, these can be toxic for dogs), flour, eggs, and peanut butter. If you look online, there are a lot of recipes posted for these types of treats. For the most part, the ingredients are the same, but the volume of each item can vary as does the length of baking time. Here’s a rundown of how to make treats for your own pups!
First, either brew your own beer, make friends with a home brewer, or contact a local brewery to acquire spent grains. We did the latter, and found that most breweries are more than willing to provide their spent grains, in fact, they could literally SWIM in all their grain! Most breweries collaborate with local farmers because a lot of livestock love to eat the used barley. Make sure you give the brewery enough lead time so that the grains you need aren’t already distributed to other willing recipients.
Second, collect the other ingredients and get ready to rock and roll!
4 Cups Spent Grain (no hops, see note from above)
2 Large Eggs (we used local, free range, organic brown eggs)
2 Cup Flour (we used organic brown wheat flour)
1 Cup Peanut Butter (we freshly ground natural peanut butter, because that’s how much we love dogs)
Preheat Oven to 350
Mix ingredients in a large bowl.
It’s easiest to use your hands...remember to remove your fancy jewels first!
Line cookie trays with parchment paper
Roll out mixture on a lightly floured surface
Using a cookie cutter, cut desired shapes and arrange on baking pan
Bake treats at 350 for 30 minutes
Reduce heat to 225 and bake for 2 hours
Allow cookies to cool and store in an airtight container
This particular recipe will yield approximately 100 small treats. After making enough for your swag bags, we went a little crazy and made some larger treats that were shaped like hedgehogs & foxes to give back to our friends at Amherst Brewery who were kind enough to share their grains with us! The treats were larger, so a batch resulted in closer to 30 total treats.
And that’s about that! Let us know what your pups think of the treats and please tag us in any photos you take of your dogs enjoying their treat that we’ve made or if you make your own! Find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest (links on all site pages). We’d love to feature your photos.