From Eggs to Biscuits -
Your Dog's Own Happy Hour treat!
In the late summer of 2017, we had survived a full season on this new farm.
Taking a break from hard work, we decided to attend a concert which benefits a local hospice and just have a relaxing evening.
As our group arrived, we dug into our coolers and began to lazily sip beer beverages – waiting for the headliner band that night, Blue Öyster Cult to take the stage. Funny now to realize that the band’s name came from an anagram of “Cully Stout Beer” after reading that the origins of that name came from a 1960’s poem written by their manager, Sandy Pearlman. Little did any of us know in those brief moments how much life would change.
We met a friend that evening who would be brewing beer in Seymour, Indiana in just a few weeks at a new brewery called The Seymour Brewing Company. Trying to be environmentally conscious, he wanted to find a place that would take the spent brewing grain after the initial boil and use it for livestock feed. Knowing that this would absolutely help the feed bill and also be a pretty cool thing to be a part of, it was decided that we had to agree to work together.
Two weeks later, the first notification that grain was ready arrived and we went to the back of the restaurant/bar to find three 5 gallon buckets that had to have weighed 50/60lbs. each.
We took the buckets home and carried them to the chicken coop. Knowing that three buckets would be WAY too much grain for the 5 birds that were on the farm, one bucket went to the birds who eagerly started gobbling it up and the other two buckets were taken to the garden to start composting into the ground for next year’s yield.
A few days later, the brewer contacted the farm again with another three buckets available. Now we were faced with the dilemma on figuring out what to do with this grain as the chickens hadn’t eaten but a portion of what had been offered days earlier. Not wanting to waste, this grain was also put on the garden, but somewhere - we knew there had to be another opportunity for this pungent "gold".
One morning, getting ready for work the idea hit. Hey, can’t spent brewing grains be used for doggy treats? A quick Google search confirmed the thought and there were recipes available that worked the spent grains into treats that dogs loved and that were good for them. A few tweaks to a peanut butter flavor recipe to make it our own, and adding our own farm fresh eggs from the chickens, and the first batch of spent brewing grain dog treats were created.
The dogs at the farm went crazy for the treats and then a quick taste test to get coworkers' pooches' approval and I.P.A. Bites were born.
After a few more trials and a lot of errors and the challenge of coming up with a name that was catchy and tied back to its roots of beer (the term "pupper" was a favorite) I.P.A. Bites are now in local stores, have been sold at the Indiana State Fair and recently gained fame in being sampled and enjoyed by Indiana State's own First Dog, Henry Holcomb!
The farm's flock has been increased since those early days and now all three buckets of spent brewing grain can be fed to the birds at one time, several times a week - but a small bit is held back to make the well liked treats. It's good for the environment and helps pay those farm bills that regular work just can't do.
I.P.A. Bites (Incredible. Pupper. Appetizers.)® - your dog's own Happy Hour!