Barley Labs is a Durham-based company that makes all-natural dog treats out of recycled grain from beer brewing. Thanks to Barley, the “Chief Inspiration Officer & VP of Quality Control,” all Barley Labs treats are “Lab Tested.”
Scott Beaudry and Theresa Chu adopted Barley, a black lab, from a shelter in 2009. They named her Barley because Scott was a home-brewing enthusiast. Scott used the spent grain from his brews to make dog treats for Barley. This led to the formation of the company, Barley Labs. Then Scott contacted Sean Wilson at Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery about using some of the brewery’s spent grain; this allowed the expansion of the new business. (Fullsteam gives Barley Labs grain and sells the treats at their dog-friendly bar, and Barley Labs bags have Fullsteam logo stickers.) Scott now handles product development, manufacturing, and logistics for Barley Labs. Theresa handles communications, marketing, sales, and daily operations.
Barley Labs treats contain all-natural, recognizable ingredients like barley, flour, and eggs. The treats come in peanut butter and pumpkin flavors. They don’t contain alcohol, just the “spent grain” that has been soaked in water during the beer-making process. To keep the treats preservative-free, Scott bakes them a long time to dehydrate them. This gives them a long shelf life and makes them crunchy. (Dogs with dental issues might not be able to handle them.) Scott now bakes every day to meet demand.
Barley Labs donates 10 cents from every bag to the Animal Protection Society of Durham. This local shelter has been taking care of animals since 1970 and provides shelter for nearly 7,000 stray, surrendered, and abused animals each year.