Shortly after Green Room Brewing opened its doors in Jacksonville Beach in June 2011,the idea of making dog treats from the brewery’s spent grain was born.
“My son, Eric, had just started the brewery, and he was taking the grain out of the mash tank,” said Debra Logeson, whose son, Eric Luman, owns and operates Green Room Brewing along with her brother, Mark Stillman. “Green Room is very big into sustainability, so we were talking about what could we do with some of this grain.”
Luman mentioned the possibility of making dog treats, so Logeson set to work on making treats for her son’s dogs. Later, it was suggested that she sell the dog treats, and the business just grew from there, she said.
Logeson makes the treats in small batches in her home kitchen in Gainesville. It’s a slow process – it takes between eight to 10 hours to completely dehydrate each batch of treats. The dog treats come in three basic flavors: peanut butter, pumpkin and pizza. Occasionally, Logeson will experiment with seasonal flavors, such as blueberry or strawberry. Flour, eggs, spring water and natural flavoring are added to the spent grain to make the treats. “I haven’t found one yet that my dog Kai won’t eat,” said Logeson. Kai, a Labrador retriever/shepherd mix, is the unofficial “quality control officer” – all treats must meet his approval.
Logeson, who is retired, said she mainly makes the dog treats for fun, selling them under the company name Logerhead Naturals, LLC. The treats cost $5 per bag.
Beer Mutts dog treats have been well received by Green Room’s patrons.
“They love it,” Logeson said. “We’re getting more and more popular at festivals and people are starting to call and ask for them.” she said, adding that someone visiting from New York bought some treats to take home with them and liked them so much, they called Logeson and asked her to ship some additional bags to them.
She has also sold the treats at festivals such as the Kanapaha Spring Garden Festival in Gainesville, the Cedar Key Seafood Festival, the Jacksonville Home & Patio Show, and a festival at Jacksonville’s Dog Wood Park. But Green Room is still the most popular place for purchasing the treats.
“They go well at Green Room,” Logeson said. “People can bring their dogs in there; it’s pet friendly, so that’s my best seller right there.”