Thanks Spokesman Review and Rick Bonino for an amazing article!
June 13th, 2014
Rick Bonino / The Spokesman-Review
Malted Mutt treats made with spent grain
Katie Wardall, left, and Pete Franz produce dog treats, which are made up of spent grains from beer brewing, at their North Side home. The leftover grains make up about 50 percent of each dog treat, which they sell under their brand name, The Malted Mutt.
• Malted Mutt dog treats come in a variety of flavors, sizes, shapes and packages, starting at $5 for a 4-ounce bag. For more information, see www.malted mutt.com.
Leftover grain from brewing often ends up in the stomachs of farm animals. But Pete Franz and Katie Wilds Wardall are steering some toward the mouth of man’s best friend (besides beer, anyway).
The Spokane couple, both beer and dog lovers, have launched a line of Malted Mutt canine treats, in varieties ranging from Apple Carrot Spice to Pumpkin to Peanut Butter Banana.
“We approach it like a brewery – let’s come up with another flavor,” said Franz, a bartender at Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub & Grille.
It all started in February when he and Wardall went to her brother’s wedding in the San Diego area. Several breweries there were selling souvenir pint glasses full of dog treats made with spent brewing grains.
“I said, ‘I don’t think anybody’s doing that in Spokane,’ ”Wardall said. “We were home a day and a half and started making treats.”
At the beginning of the brewing process, in what’s called “mashing,” malted barley and other grains are steeped in hot water to remove their sugars. The spent grains typically go to farmers for animal feed.
Malted Mutt has been getting its grain from River City Brewing, English Setter Brewing and now Waddell’s Brewpub, 5 gallons at a time. While that’s a drop in the bucket for a bigger brewery – River City disposes of up to a ton per brew – it’s enough for 25 to 30 batches of treats, at 200 treats per batch.
Since the sort of grain they get varies depending on the style of beer brewed, they match darker grains with heartier recipes, like stout paired with peanut butter and molasses.
If they can’t use the grain right away, they freeze it to preserve moisture. “We tried drying it and milling it into flour, but we didn’t like the texture,” Franz said. “We kind of like that rough, grainy texture. Using it fresh maintains that, and there’s more malt flavor.”
Yes, he knows that for a fact: “I’ve tried every (variety) that’s come out. They’re really no different than biscotti, just minus the sugar.”
Along with a picture of Wardall’s Australian shepherd/spaniel mix, Ziggy, labels (made from recycled paper bags) show the brewery the grain came from and the type of beer, other ingredients (organic and local whenever possible), nutritional analysis and the music playing when the batch was made (Madonna, Prince, Peter Frampton, et al.).
While the treats come in several shapes, there’s always at least one mustache – Malted Mutt’s signature shape – in each package. People have sent pictures of their dogs “wearing” those, and a photo contest may be in the works.
The treats are available in various package sizes online and at Rocket Market and Alissa’s Ooh La Latte in Spokane and Camp K-9 in Post Falls, as well as River City, English Setter and Waddell’s Brewpub.
Franz and Wardall plan to contact other breweries, but have been busy keeping up with dog shows around the area. For those, they raffle gift baskets of treats, toys and other goodies, which also can be ordered.
In the works are more gluten-free offerings (some are available now using rice flour), medicinal treats (for example, with glucosamine for joint health) and seasonal shapes (bunnies for Easter, zombies for Halloween).
And they’re intrigued by the nonalcoholic, beef-flavored “Dog Beer” being made down under in Australia. Bottoms up, Ziggy.
Thank you Spokane Journal of Business for mentioning us in SMALL BUSINESS WATCH! :)
JUNE 5th, 2014
Malted dog-treats business launches
Spokane residents Peter Franz and Katie Wardall have started a dog-treat making business, called The Malted Mutt INW LLC, which uses recycled beer grains and all recycled packaging, Franz says.
The couple launched the business in February from their North Side home, Franz says.
Malted Mutt takes the grains left over from brewing beer and bakes them into dog treats, he says.
“Usually they give it away to farmers for feed; we just take a five-gallon jug and turn it into batches and batches of dog treats,” Franz says.
The grain is mixed with different organic ingredients, such as peanut butter and molasses, to make the treats, he says. The treats contain no alcohol, hops, wheat, soy, corn, or preservatives. Currently, Malted Mutt gets grain from local breweries, including River City Brewing, of Spokane, and English Setter Brewing Co., of Spokane Valley.
Franz says the two came up with the idea for the company after finding a similar business while shopping in San Diego for a thank-you gift for their dog sitter.
“We found a similar company, bought the treats and then decided there’s no one doing this in Spokane,” he says. “We were like, we love dogs and we love craft beer.”
Franz has a background in the bar industry as a bartender at Waddell’s Neighborhood Pub & Grille on the South Hill, where he still works part time. Wardall has a background in social media management and event coordinating, Franz says, and is working on Malted Mutt full time.