Daniel Keeton is a busy man. In addition to brewing for Boneyard Beer—helping produce the RPM IPA that keeps the Pacific Northwest running—he's been operating Dawg Grog for the past four years, ensuring that dogs across the USA can safely enjoy the miracles of fermentation with their human companions.
"Starting the business took some time to organize and get going," Keeton says. "It was the idea first; then came the research and development into what's good and what's not good for dogs to consume. This led me to search out healthy vegetarian products used to make up Dawg Grog."
There might be a certain frat-kid contingent of the populace who thinks getting their pets drunk is hilarious, but it's not so great an idea for them. Hops, in fact, can be lethal to dogs, with many poisoning cases caused by homebrewers leaving their spent grain/hop mixture in an accessible location. To avoid that issue, Dawg Grog is based on brewer's wort—the alcohol-free mixture of malt and water made as part of the beer-making process. To this Keeton adds canine-specific glucosamine and a mix of 72 trace mineral products, producing a 100% vegetarian brew.
"The access to Boneyard's wort is a big plus," Keeton notes. "I'm able to use any and all of the excess that I want. Because Boneyard is brewing so often now, Dawg Grog barely puts a dent in consuming the waste product, but I would like to change that and ramp up production."
Since debuting on Boneyard's taproom counter in 2012, Dawg Grog has grown to the point where it's available across Oregon and Washington, with some distribution going as far away as Houston and Philadelphia. "Distribution has had its ups and downs," Keeton says. "Response has been positive but there is a lot of work still to do in educating the consumer as to how Dawg Grog can benefit their dog's health and well-being. So far I have not come across too many products similar to mine; there are a few, and I would suspect the popularity to gain momentum as the craft beer craze grows."
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