Its creator Jenny Brown said that she got the idea of the non-alcoholic drink, at a holiday farmer’s market in 2007 for which she had made spicy pretzels and, at the urging of customers, a peanut-butter alternative for their dogs.
Thinking to herself, “What goes better with pretzels than beer?” she devised four beer recipes for her three dogs to taste-test. One recipe was the clear winner, and the beer for dogs was born.
“People have an incredible emotional bond with their dogs, so it’s just natural for people to want to include them and say, ‘My dog can have a beer too’,” a major newspaper quoted Brown as saying.
Brown had been looking for a job when she took Beefy Brown Ale, the beer’s first flavor, to a pet expo in Virginia later that year. But the more she looked into it, she said, the more it started to dawn on her that she had a business opportunity on her hands.
Since then, she has shipped batches of beer nationwide, and dog-oriented businesses in 42 states have begun selling the dog-friendly beer, which now comes in a chicken-flavored variety, Cock-a-Doodle-Brew.
The beer has taken off internationally, too, with a special edition getting sold in the pet section of a major department store in London.
The beer has been on the shelves at a dog boutique in Greenville, South Carolina, for the past three years. The owner said that sales spike on Fridays, when customers stock up for weekend parties.
“Whether it’s a football game or people are just having their friends over, they say, ‘I gotta get a bottle for my four-legged,’” she said.
The dog beer market might soon see a new Bowser flavor, seafood, liver and bacon-flavored beer are some of the possibilities Brown said that she is researching.
Brown moved her company, from Arizona to Seattle last month, since then, she has marketed the beer to the local bar scene, betting on people’s desire to bring their pooches to the pub.
Now available in plastic bottles to avoid broken-glass mishaps, Bowser Beer scores better with dogs when served outside of their normal drinking bowls, where they expect to find water, Brown said.
Her recommendations is pour the beer over your dog’s dry food, freeze it into ice cubes for your dog to lick, or let your dog simply drink straight from the bottle – human-style.
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