We love beer, but brewing it requires a lot of grain. Roughly one pound of grain is used per six pack of beer. Before it eventually becomes the backbone of beer, barley is first grown, then it is malted. After the brewing process, the industry has classically considered the remaining grain “spent.” That’s because the malt’s sugars have been extracted, so its ability to make more beer is literally spent. However, we think you’ll agree that there is still a richness of value in these “spent” grains that is worth saving.
To be sure, brewing beer is an age-old practice, and the “spent” malt is not a newly discovered byproduct. For millennia, breweries and farmers have enjoyed a symbiotic relationship. The farmers come pick up the grain and use it to enrich their soil and feed their animals. However, the boom in craft beer has complicated this historical paradigm.
In 2015, two new breweries opened per day. To our delight, we’re seeing these innovative flavor-forward ventures pop up everywhere. This growth is especially concentrated in cities where dense populations of beer drinkers offer an attractive market for craft beer entrepreneurs.
The classic farmer/brewer partnership is simply less practical in an urban beer production environment. The fuel, tolls, and time costs required for a farmer to complete a supply run into city though mean that urban breweries see less demand for their grain. So, many urban brewers have no better option than to have their grain hauled to compost where it is available, and landfill where it is not. In this inefficiency, we see opportunity.
At ReGrained, we propose that “spent” beer grain instead be harvested and used to close a nutrient loop. In other words, we propose that the leftover grain be recovered from the waste stream and ReGrained.
Why? Because ReGrained grain makes for a phenomenal food ingredient. It is high in protein (by weight, close to as much as almonds) and fiber (more than 3x that of oatmeal), low in sugar (the sugar ends up in the beer), and as most curious homebrewers inevitably discover, it has a great flavor (#yum). From our first product line of bars to those that will come in the form of breads, cookies, cereals, chips, and more—we will develop delicious products built around ReGrained grain.
Our vision is to enable urban ecosystems to do more with less through creativity and innovation. With every decision, we seek to positively impact the community and planet in which we live and run our business.
As consumers, we get to decide what matters most through what we choose to buy. ReGrained’s mantra is simple: “Brew Good. Bake Good. Do Good.” We invite you to join us in raising the bar together.
Cheers to having your beer...and eating it too,
Jordan and Dan