Dog owners love to spoil their pets. So while their owners crack open a cold one, who says their pooches can’t share a brew with them?
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In this Salute to American Success, we’re taking a look at 3 Busy Dogs and its “Bowser Beer” product. The company created by Jenny Brown- and named after her three original dogs- has been creating unique, all natural “beers” for dogs since 2008. With its headquarters in Seattle, Washington, its production facility near Tampa, Florida and stores all over the U.S. selling its product, it is a true American business.
Jenny Brown came up with the idea for Bowser Beer after helping friends with dogs at a farmers market. Originally, the company started off with pretzel snacks for dogs, called Bowser Bits, which have a coating of peanut butter and naturally sweet molasses.
“It took about a year for the company to get off the ground,” said Brown, who was working on the company in between her regular day job.
She says she then realized the pups wanted something else to go along with the company’s pretzel snacks- a drink. So, Brown decided to create a healthy, non-alcoholic beer for dogs. According to Brown, Bowser Beer is made from all-natural, U.S.-made ingredients and comes in two flavors- beef and chicken.
“We make our own broth from scratch and add barley,” said Brown. “You need to be smart about what you’re giving your dogs. The barley is good for them and their coats.” She added that the ingredients are also “all-human grade.”
Hops, which are used in traditional beers for their flavor, aren’t used in her company’s Bowser Beer since they are “harmful to dogs and can be toxic to some breeds,” she said.
Brown picked a manufacturing company near Tampa, Florida, which she said normally produces waters and juices. However, the labels for the beers are custom-made in Seattle, allowing customers to send pictures of their animals that will end up as the cover on the plastic bottles they buy.
IN THE FUTURE
Originally sold exclusively in pet shops, Bowser Beer is now on shelves in beer stores, breweries, wine shops, restaurants, hotels, hardware stores and other pet-related businesses. Going forward, Brown’s plans include trying to expand the business.
“We want to create more strategic partnerships with small craft breweries. There are all kinds of opportunities there,” said Brown.
Right now, along with its Bowser Bits, the company is selling other snacks under quite fitting names. “Puptato Chips” (dried sweet potatoes), “Cigar Sausages” and even liver treats are some of the other products customers can purchase.
“We want to provide great products and make them fun to have. It’s always good to have a sense of humor too,” Brown said.
Her advice for people looking to start a business is simple: “You need to be prepared to work really hard and think strategically,” she said. “Ask yourself how big you want the business to be. You can do a lot in your own backyard.”