Spent Grain Makes Farm Smell Pleasant

By Andy Sparhawk

We all know how important the relationship between brewer and farmer is, especially when it comes to sourcing ingredients, but did you know that the benefits go both ways? It is quite common for small brewers to work with members of their local agriculture community to provide farmers with the excess solids left over from the brew day. The tradeoff is free haul away for the brewers and nutritious feed for the farmers’ livestock.

Weyerbacher Brewing Co. recently went into detail on their blog about their process for recycling spent grains: “When we purchase barley, wheat and rye to make our beer, we only use a portion of the grain for the final product—the starches which we convert into sugars. The grain husk and whatever amount of remaining starches are, in fact, not garbage!

Weyerbacher, located in Easton, Pa., currently provides all of their grain free of charge to a dairy farmer in the Kutztown area and Stryker Farm in Saylorsburg.

Nolan Thevnet, owner of Stryker Farm, revealed a lesser known benefit of this partnership: “Barley, wheat and rye grains are all high in fibers which bind to ammonia so our farm also smells much more pleasant than others!”

Read more about Weyerbacher’s spent grain and the benefits it provides to the farmers of Eastern Pennsylvania on the Weyerbacher blog in “Spent Grain.”

Andy Sparhawk, the Brewers Association's craft beer program coordinator, is a Certified Cicerone® and BJCP Beer Judge. He lives in Arvada, Colorado where he is a homebrewer and avid craft beer enthusiast. On occasion, Andy is inspired to write on his experiences with craft beer, and if they are not too ridiculous, you might see the results here on CraftBeer.com.

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