OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

This is not Waste: the case of Brewers' Spent Grain (BSG)

BSP is the main leftover of brewing. Most of it ends up in landfills but now is ingredient for granola bars, pasta, bread, and dog biscuits.

Photo of Jessica Aguirre
14 11

Written by

Spent grain is the main leftover of brewing and it represents approximately 85% of total by-products generated. However, spent grains are of high nutritive value and can be incorporated in a variety of other products. Spent grain is being used as ingredient in the production of granola bars, dog biscuits, bread, and soap. Spent grain is also being used as energy source. The combustion of spent grain using a biomass boiler produces thermal energy; it can be used as a source of sugar for bioethanol production, and through anaerobic digestion the production of biogas.

Some of the successful stories repurposing spent grain:

Portland Pet Food Company produces brew biscuit dog treats made with repurposed spent grain. Biscuits are made with high quality ingredients and sourced from local breweries.

Sfoglini is a pasta maker located in Brooklyn dedicated to sourcing high quality organic grains to bring classic Italian style pasta. In collaboration with the Bronx Brewery, they use the spent grain from its Bronx Rye Pale Ale to produce the BXB radiatori pasta.


What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

Rethinking Waste.
Byproducts are not necessarily synonymous with waste products and they can be used as raw materials in other manufacturing processes.

In the case of Beer Spent Grain:
“In the U.S. approximately 200 million barrels of beer are consumed each year with an average of 6 billion pound of grain use by the brewery industry.”

Tell us about your work experience:

Actively pursuing alternative uses for byproducts, researching, and telling their stories.

This post emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm
  • An Individual

14 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Daniel Kurzrock

Thanks for including ReGrained Jessica Aguirre ! ReGrained has its own post too, if anyone wants to join the conversation there around closing the nutrient loop: https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/food-waste/research/eat-beer-tackling-food-waste-at-the-tap

Photo of Jessica Aguirre

Hi Daniel. Great to have you in this challenge. ReGrained's story has been an inspiration to look beyond these "by-products". I look forward to keep collaborating in the idea phase. 

Photo of Daniel Kurzrock

Same! 

View all comments