Craft Beer Has Gone to the Dogs!

Beer – Food for Your Pet?

Have you ever wondered what happens to the malted grains that are used to make craft beer?

In the making of any craft beer, some wonderfully tasty and healthful malted grains are used. These are base malts and specialty malts such as Cara malt, Crisp malt, Black Patent malt, Smoked Munich malt, Crystal malt, and many dozens of other malted grains. So how are they used, and what happens to them afterwards?

First, the malted grains are mashed to convert their soluble starches into sugars, and afterward, they are rinsed. Rinsing the mashed grain removes the malt sugars, and these malt sugar solutions then become food for the yeast that will convert the wort into fermented beer.

This is great news for beer drinkers, but what about the mashed malted grains – spent grains? Do they have any other uses? YES! Great news for gardeners, farmers, and – dogs…

I want my Spent Grain Dog Treats!
“I want my Spent Grain Dog Treats!”

…Dogs? Yes – those lovable four-legged pets that are such great companions. Yet even full grown puppies are too young to drink. 😉 Do they need a beer? NO, and they probably shouldn’t be drinking brew, but they can have something that all dogs love – FOOD!

You can give your dog Golden Naked Oats, Cara Bohemian or Crisp Chocolate malt in his treat dish tonight!

You do know that dogs can talk, right? And if you understood them – well – wouldn’t you give them what they really desire? Sure – so here is what their hearts really desire – fresh, healthy, and eco-friendly Dog Treats! …Oops, I mean a recipe for those delicious dog treats. 😉

You can easily whip up a recipe of Dog Treats with the spent grains from a home brewer or a local brewpub – just ask, and you can usually get them for free.

NOTE: Dogs are reported to be very sensitive to hops. Do NOT let dogs ingest hops or eat grain that has been in direct contact with hops. It can be deadly to them. Hops are not generally added to the grain, but are added to wort (unfermented beer) during and /or after the boil.

Spent Grain Dog TreatsIngredients:

  • 4 cups spent grain (hop free)
  • 2 cups flour (bread or all purpose)
  • 1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 2 large eggs

Optional – for an Italian flavor:

  • Parmesan or Romano cheese, added to taste. I suggest about ½ cup
  • Garlic powder, season to taste. Perhaps 2 Tablespoons
  • Rosemary, season to taste, or about 1/2 Tablespoon
  • Basil, season to taste, or about 1 Tablespoon


  1. Mix the eggs, flour, grain, and peanut butter in a bowl. (Peanut butter and eggs are the “glue” for this recipe.)
  2. Stir just enough to moisten all ingredients. Do NOT work the dough as you would if making bread – you will make a brick – not a treat. 😉
  3. Spread the mixture onto a baking pan(s) and press down until it’s about one-half inch thick.
  4. Score the mixture deeply with a knife, pizza cutter, or cookie cutter into rectangles or other shapes.
  5. Bake in oven at 350° F for 45 to 60 minutes.
  6. Reduce the heat to 250° F and bake them 2 more hours.
  7. Baking time will vary, depending on how thick they’re made and the amount of liquid in the grains.
  8. Make sure that you bake them until the treats are fully dry. If they aren’t totally dry, they could become moldy when stored. However, even commercial treats can be moldy so…
  9. Remove from oven. After cooling, break them apart and check for dryness.
  10. If not dry, you may wish to bake again, until dry, in a 250° F degree oven.

Keep in mind that the spent grains are high in fiber and may alter your pet’s digestive system. Add them to your pet’s diet slowly. 🙂

Later, I’ll test and add recipe variations, and additional recipes. Let us know what YOUR pet thinks about these treats!

Hope that your pet gives then two thumbs – er – paws up! Woof!


Written by David Ivey, Black Bucket Brew Inbox Magazine Editor

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