Photos Provided By Brew Chewz
For our pet month, we couldn’t wait to visit with Brew Chewz dog treat creators here in Fargo, N.D.!
Tell us about yourselves.
We live in Fargo with our three dogs (Ruca, Ryder and Gracie). Besides spending time with our dogs, we enjoy traveling, camping, gardening and spending time with family and friends. Riley is in charge of the day-to-day operations for the business, while Mary is a teacher when she is not baking dog treats.
What do you make?
We make dogs treats using spent grains from local breweries. To the grains, we add organic ingredients and strive to keep the ingredient list simple. The treats are hand-rolled, cut, baked and dehydrated in Fargo. We dehydrate the treats so we can provide a shelf-stable treat without any preservatives. As a grain-free option, we also make organic training treats using locally sourced organic flax from Askegaard Farms.
How did you get into making dog treats?
We rescued our first dog Ruca nine years ago. We were concerned with some ingredients and preservatives that manufacturers were using. When we rescued our second dog, Ryder, five years ago, we decided to try making our own treats. We also enjoy visiting local breweries and breweries on road trips, so Brew Chewz became a great connection between our love for dogs and beer!
What are your own dog’s favorite flavors/treats you’ve made?
Our dogs have never turned down any of our treats (in fact they are the official clean-up crew after a day of treat making!). They especially love any treats with peanut butter or sweet potato (and licking out the empty jars for recycling is an added bonus).
Tell us more about spent grain in your treats?
Breweries use malted grains in the first stages of the brewing process. The grains are steeped and the sugars and proteins are transferred to a boil kettle where hops and adjuncts are added which give the beer its unique flavor. The steeped grains are very rich in protein which makes an ideal treat for your pups.
How has your business changed over time?
We continue to add more flavors. We started with just organic peanut butter and have continued to add various fruits and vegetables. Being aware of food allergies, we created peanut and grain-free varieties as well. For the pickier dogs, we now sell food topper (similar to granola) that can be sprinkled on your dog’s regular food to entice them to eat it. We also make smaller training treats that can be used for any size dog, whether they are being trained or not!
What is a word that best describes you?
Sorry but it’s two words…..Dog Lover. Our dogs rule our lives and we are happy to let them do so!
What has been the most challenging and most rewarding things about doing this business?
Riley has worked to perfect the dough and baking process. There is a lot of moisture in the spent grains initially, so creating a dough that was easy to roll was a major challenge. The most rewarding part of the business is positive feedback from dog parents and our ability to interact with them daily.
A favorite trip so far with your dogs?
We love taking the dogs on camping and road trips. Our favorite place to visit so far has been Oregon. It’s a very dog-friendly state with endless beaches and breweries that our dogs love!
Where can people find your work this summer?
We will be selling them at the Red River Market, Moorhead Farmers Market, Dilworth Art in the Park and the Island Park Show. Year-round our treats are found at Unglued, our website, Natural Pet Center, Prairie Roots Co-op, Fetchers and of course the breweries (Fargo Brewing Company, Drekker, Prairie Brothers).
How can our community help your business grow?
Fargo has become much more dog-friendly over the last few years by creating new dog-friendly venues. We would love to see that trend continue.