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  • New Durham Small Business Uses Beer Grain to Make All-natural Dog Treats

    What do you get when you mix a home brewer with a three-year-old Labrador mix? You get Barley Labs LLC, a new Durham-based small business that sells all-natural dog treats made with recycled barley from the beer-brewing process.
    ​"When I started home brewing beer, I had a lot of grain left over from the process, and it seemed like such a waste to just toss it," said Scott Beaudry, co-owner of Barley Labs. "I did some research and found out that I could take that barley and turn it into treats for my dog, who also just happens to be named Barley. I figured it only seemed fair that if I was making treats for myself, I might as well make some for my dog, too."
    ​With the creation of these treats and Americans spending a record amount of money on their pets, Beaudry and his business/dog owning partner Theresa Chu felt they had a viable idea for a new company. In fact, according to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $50.96 billion on their pets in 2011, which is estimated to increase to $52.87 billion in 2012.
    ​Barley Labs currently has peanut butter and pumpkin treats available on their website, and they hope to get the treats into stores soon. The owners say their treats are oven baked and include just a handful of all-natural ingredients. 
    ​"So much of this company was inspired by our own dog Barley," said Chu. "It was important to us to limit the number of ingredients and to make sure those ingredients were natural. We know what it's like to have a dog that has a sensitive stomach. Knowing exactly what's going into her belly helps us to avoid any unfortunate surprises." 
    ​Their dog Barley also influenced the decision to donate a portion of the proceeds to a local animal shelter. "We adopted Barley in 2009 from a shelter in Chicago," said Beaudry. "Without that shelter, who knows what would have happened to her. We'd like to try to give back so that other dogs have a chance at a good home like Barley did."
    ​In addition to the recipe and donation efforts, Beaudry and Chu's dog also inspired the name of the company. "We named her Barley because Scott was in the early stages of his home brewing hobby when we adopted her," said Chu. "So we took her name, which also happens to be the primary ingredient of the treats, and combined it with her Lab-mix breed, and Barley Labs was born."
    About Barley Labs
    Barley Labs LLC is a small business based in Durham, N.C., specializing in all-natural dog treats made out of recycled grain from the beer brewing process. Barley Labs dog treats contain limited, all-natural ingredients and are oven baked for that perfect crunch. Learn more at
    Contact us at, and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.
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