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Weekend Sip: A Super Bowl sip for dogs? Busch offers a ‘beer’ for the canine set

The can

Busch Dog Brew, $15 for a four-pack

The back story

Sure, you’ve got a lot of decisions to make as you plan your Super Bowl spread. What kind of dip do you want with your chips? How many wings do you need for your guests?

But let’s get to the real question of the day: What beer are you going to serve the dog?

Yes, even Fido can get in on the game-day fun. Busch, the beer brand that dates back to 1955 and is part of the Anheuser-Busch
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family of brews, launched its doggy sip in 2020. The idea, says Daniel Blake, a marketing executive with Anheuser-Busch, was to connect the brand with the many people who welcomed a new pooch into their home during those dark early days of the pandemic. “Busch Dog Brew was created so you can enjoy your favorite drink with your new best friend,” Blake says.

But here’s the thing: Busch Dog Brew is not really a brew. Certainly, it doesn’t have any alcohol (though if you purchase it though the Busch site — the drink is not sold in stores — you’ll still need to verify your age!). In reality, it’s a bone broth made with bone-in pork butt and other ingredients (corn, celery, basil, mint, turmeric and garlic). Think soup…in a beer can.

Blake says the product “has received an overwhelmingly positive response” from dogs and dog owners alike. Blake adds that Busch has built on the success by hiring Ethan, a rescue pup, as its “chief tasting officer” (no word on Ethan’s salary, but we’re guessing he might get paid in beer…or faux beer, to be more accurate).

Busch isn’t the only one doing dog beer, however. You’ll find brands like Bowser Beer and Snuffle Dog Beer. This all seemingly ties in with the broader trend of spending more and more on our pets. We’re talking a $100 billion-plus industry that runs the gamut from designer pet carriers to Halloween costumes for dogs, cats and even guinea pigs. For all we know, there may be a guinea pig beer in the works, too.

What we think about it

I admit I was pretty cynical when I heard about this “brew.” Nevertheless, I cracked open a can for Lulu, my nearly 12-year-old pooch, then poured it into a bowl and let her at it. I can’t say she was lapping it up like mad, but she didn’t seem to object to it. Then again, Lulu never objects to almost anything consumable — she’s made many a meal out of the stray chicken bones she inevitably finds on our walks, much to my consternation. She did seem to appreciate the sip more when I poured a little on her food, which is something the Busch team suggests.

The Busch team also told me the faux-beer was safe for humans to consume. So, what the heck — I tried it myself. And it tasted like…bone broth. Mind you, not the best bone broth I’ve tasted, but it had a nice bit of pork-y flavor and just a hint of zesty spice. Would I drink it in place of a beer? Um, no. Would I drink it if I was out of soup in the house and was desperately craving some? Maybe.

Perhaps that’s not much of an endorsement, but who are we kidding here? Your dog doesn’t care if you buy them a “beer.” But if makes you happy to crack open that can for Fido this Super Bowl Sunday, go for it, I say.

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