Bouchées Maltées is a young company on Montréal’s south shore dedicated to making doggie treats from spent brewer’s grain. Since September 2016, cofounders Olivier La Barre, Benoît Pouliot and Maxime Mercier have been collecting spent grain from Brasserie New Deal to create gourmet treats for our furry friends.
We sat with Olivier La Barre to learn more about Bouchées Maltées.
Boldwin: How did you come up with the idea for dog treats made from spent brewer’s grain?
Olivier: As amateur brewers, we were tired of throwing out our spent grain. So we decided to find ways to use it instead. That’s how we came up with the idea of making dog treats, and we experimented with recipes and tested them on our friends’ pets. The feedback we got was so positive we decided to start a business with the goal of salvaging spent grain from local breweries. That’s how Bouchées Maltées was born in 2016.
Boldwin: So reducing waste was the main goal for starting your first company?
Olivier: Absolutely. It’s the core of our mission. Our key goal was to stop wasting the spent grain leftover from our home brewing. When we came across the idea of making dog treats, we were happy to finally find a solution to give our spent grains—and eventually those of local breweries—a second life. We’re also motivated by the idea of creating employment in Québec through our company. Teamwork, innovation and creativity are the values our company holds to heart.
Boldwin: How does collaboration with local breweries work?
Olivier: When we started running out of our own spent grain, we decided to forge great relationships with local breweries like MaBrasserie, Brasseurs du Moulin and Bedondaine et Bedons Ronds. After publishing a piece for a group of craft beer enthusiasts, Daleyne Guay from New Deal Brewing contacted us in October 2016—and since December we’ve been working more and more with the brewery. Not only are they super nice and located right near us, they also offer lots of flexibility—which is so important since we all still work full time elsewhere. Plus Boldwin’s spent grains are certified organic, which means we can one day create a product that’s fully organic, too.
Boldwin: How are your dog treats different from others on the market?
Olivier: Our products stand apart because they use ingredients that normally go to waste. They’re also made in Québec from only 4 natural ingredients that are all easy to pronounce. Since most of the grain’s sugar is extracted through the brewing process, using spent grain means our dog treats are full of fibre instead of sugar. It’s still a treat, though, and not to be used as your pet’s main food.
Boldwin: Do you have other plans in the works for spent grain?
Olivier: We have so many ideas in mind! In the short term, we need to collaborate with a local company so we can produce our treats in larger quantities. Or else open up our own factory. We’re still making the treats at home and waiting for ways to produce bigger quantities before we approach new clients. As soon as that’s settled, we want to develop treats—for humans! We’ve already started testing, but it’s all still hush-hush for now.
Boldwin: To be continued! Thank you and we look forward to our continued collaboration.
Psst! Bouchées Maltées dog treats are available at the New Deal Brewing boutique