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A micro-brewery worker has created a genius sustainable dog treat made using spent brewers grain from the beer-making process.
Tom Whiteley helped brothers Archie and Louis Villages set up the south-east London micro-brewery Villages five years ago, and discovered if produces around one tonne of spent grain per week.
And as an environmentally conscious company, they wanted to find a way to use the grain for good.
While many rural breweries will give or sell their spent grain to farmers to add to animal feed, this wasn’t an option for urban London brewers – but Tom had an idea.
A sustainable, vegan dog biscuit box made with upcycled grain and brewers yeast helping combat the climate crisis.
Tom said: “For us, Sustainability is a brilliant business model for changing the world. What profits us can profit the planet, and vice versa. Looking for that symbiotic win-win-win in unexpected situations is at the heart of what we are doing at BrewBix.”
Around one kilogram of grain makes 10 pints of beer, and breweries in the UK produce around half a million tonnes of spent grain a year, which retains a lot of nutritional value – so it would be a shame to see it go to waste.
The thing I love most about BrewBix though, is that every step of the process has been carefully considered, from selecting the ingredients to their yellow box landing on your doormat.
In using spent grain and yeast, it means BrewBix don’t need to farm other ingredients, getting their flour and linseed locally to minimise their carbon footprint.
The biscuits are then baked in carbon-neutral wood-fired ovens, to minimise their impact on the planet.
The yellow packaging is made entirely of cardboard, and is therefore widely recycled, and is letterbox friendly, minimising packaging and postage costs.
Tom added: “After doing all the above to minimise our carbon footprint, we worked with a sustainability consultant to measure how much carbon was created in order to create a box of Bix.
“We then – and will continue to – offset twice that amount, making our boxes of Bix carbon negative. Therefore, by buying this box you are helping to remove carbon from the earth’s atmosphere.”
The dog biscuits are entirely vegan – mostly because there was little need to add meat.
While it is easier for dogs to get their nutrition from an omnivorous diet, not all treats need to contain meat, since they’re just that – a treat!
Instead, they’re flavoured with peanut butter, which is one of Phoebe and Frank’s favourites.
I love that each packet of BrewBix says which beer the grain in the biscuits made, including Villages Rodeo Pale Ale, Whistle Lager or Rafiki Session IPA.
That means, if you wanted to treat yourself as well as your dog, you can order a crate of beer that is made from the same ingredients as your dog’s biscuits from the Villages website.
A 175g of BrewBix biscuits costs £6 for a one-off box, or £4.80 when you subscribe, with deliveries every two to six weeks. It couldn’t be easier to order eco-friendly biscuits!
Tom added: “I believe that we all need to take action to minimise the environmental impact we have on the planet. If we as individuals make different decisions about what we buy, then companies will adapt to provide those things.
“However, I also believe that people will only make those choices if we make it easy for them. Many people won’t make the more sustainable choice unless the new product or service is at least as good as their existing options.
“I was keen to start a business that did just this. We want to make it easy to be good. Both good for the planet, and good for your dog.”
We got around 35 biscuits in the box, and they’re a great size for big dogs, or could be broken in half for smaller breeds. This box, having a treat a day, would last Phoebe and Frank around two weeks – so it’s great we can tailor our subscription to our household consumption.
The treats smell great, pack a crunch and are kind to dogs’ tummies while treading lightly on the planet – there’s nothing not to love.