News Feature | October 3, 2013

Turning Beer Into Granola Bars

Source: Food Online
Sam Lewis

By Sam Lewis, associate editor
Follow Me On Twitter @SamIAmOnFood

Glasses Of Beer

Northern California’s ReGrained approaches sustainability in a brand new way

A new California company, calling itself ReGrained, is approaching food manufacturing and sustainability in a very interesting way. The company’s co-founders, Dan Kurzrock and Jordan Schwartz, are sourcing barley grains that have already been used to brew beer, to produce and sell baked goods.

The idea came to Kurzrock as a home brewer. Burdened by the incredible volume of spent grains his hobby created, he consulted his friend, Schwartz, about ways to dispose of the grain that were both practical and sustainable.  After some mulling about the concerns regarding the brewing industry as a whole, they created the concept of ReGrained — giving new purpose to the brewing industry’s spent grain by returning it to the customer in healthy products. The company states that one cup of spent grain contains six grams of fiber and 3.5 grams of protein.

The company’s website  explains that only 10 percent of ingredients used to create beer, actually become beer. Most of the leftover ingredients are grains, like malted barley. The brewing industry uses about 6 billion pounds of grain to produce the roughly 200 million barrels (one barrel is 31 gallons) of beer that U.S. consumers gulp down each year. Some large breweries are able to give farmers their spent grains as animal feed or compost, while the majority simply hauls the leftovers away as if it were trash. “This grain is not garbage, so we propose a different solution. Spent grain is loaded with fiber, protein, and is uniquely tasty — making it an ideal baking ingredient,” the ReGrained’s website says.

ReGrained obtains its spent beer grains from local microbreweries, which use top-notch ingredients to produce well-crafted libations. However, friendliness to the environment can be lost in the process. This is where ReGrained helps local brewers out. “By bringing the grains full circle, our products are inherently sustainable, but we also feel that ReGrained’s impact on the sustainability of our community can extend beyond, curbing the inefficiency of the local beer industry,” says the company website’s A Grain Story. Relationships have also been built between ReGrained and local farmers who provide the best local ingredients for the company’s many products including breads, cookies, cereals, chips, and beer inspired granola bars. But don’t worry, parents. The products are simply inspired by beer — the chocolate coffee stout granola bar is made with dark malt grains — and contain no alcohol.

It seems that ReGrained is one of the truly good companies out there, aiming to keep the best interest of everyone intact on all fronts. The company’s mantra, “Brew Good. Bake Good. Do Good.,” reflects its efforts. The company strives to make healthy and delicious products for American consumers while holding the highest standards of sustainability. In addition, the company focuses heavily on impacting its local economy positively by including local industry in the process of making ReGrained goods.