Repurposing spent grain

Fuz here. I had hoped that this time away from all things would allow me the leisure to drink new and exciting beers, and to have something more to report to you on the brewing scene up north.

I hadn’t counted on the whole “I have no desire to leave the house and interact with people, even if it’s to buy things I love” feeling I’ve had since the world turned upside down. My trips to the liquor store have become blitzkriegs. And, while what I’ve been buying is good, I’ve been going after old standards.

But, these folks have been coming to my farmers’ market for a few years. Susgrainable takes spent barley from breweries, dries it, and uses it to make flour, breads, cookies, and more. By using spent grains, they’re reducing food waste–and, because most (if not all) of the barley’s sugars are extracted in the beer preparation, what’s left is far less likely to impact one’s glycemic index. Which is a good thing.

Critically: how does it taste?

Pretty good, actually! Their rosemary focaccia is nice and oily and redolent of rosemary. It’s definitely a bit darker than I’d like, the crust a bit more tender than I enjoy, and the crumb is a bit closer than I’d prefer. (To be honest, the bread up here is generally softer and less crusty/chewy than I’d like, so this isn’t a knock on the Susgrainable folks, per se.)

In any case, I enjoyed this, and I’d definitely buy it again.

I also had an Animal Lover’s cookie (not pictured)–and here’s where we run into my issue with healthy desserts: coconut. Let’s just say I’m generally not a fan of coconut’s taste or texture. So I was surprised when I generally liked the flavour of the cookie. The texture was not my cup of tea–but I imagine that they know what sells.

Overall, I had a positive experience with their baked goods, and I’d be willing to try more. And I think this is a great idea for reducing the amount of waste that brewing generates.

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