By: Adrienne Jack
Ah… fall. The time of year so crowded with holidays that it’s acceptable to eat your weight in food. Of course, in the run-up to Thanksgiving, we’ll do anything to keep ourselves healthy to make up for it. By going to the gym, for example, or drinking smoothies, or eating beer.
“Wait. Eating beer?,” you say
Yep. Before beer becomes the beer you know and love (perhaps not so much in the morning), it’s a grain that’s high in protein, high in fiber, and highly nutritious. So, now it’s being made into snack bars.
Pro-green beer drinkers out there might be alarmed to hear that a great deal of grainy goodness left over from making beer goes to waste. But the good news is, a few breweries have found innovative ways to reuse the by-product. And one of them is ReGrained, a San Francisco startup that firmly believes in the power of malted supergrain.
ReGrained was born when a college freshman started brewing beer in his kitchen. Dan Kurzrock, an economics student at UCLA, found that each batch of beer he made left behind about 15 to 20 pounds of grain. Meaning only 10 percent of the ingredients used to
brew the beer actually ended up in a glass.
So he and a friend, Jordan Schwartz, decided to use this waste product to bake and sell bread.
Not surprisingly, bread made from every student’s favorite tipple became the next big thing on campus, and the guys’ small college enterprise grew in success until ReGrained launched in 2012. This is when they switched to baking granola bars, and ended up selling thousands every month.
Since then, they’ve expanded to source their grain and other ingredients from local farmers and craft breweries throughout the city. By partnering with smaller breweries that find recycling their waste more difficult, ReGrained aims to make a positive change in the industry’s sustainability.
“Eat Beer.” Bars
Okay, so ReGrained’s products do not contain alcohol. But never fear: they contain even better ingredients that your body will thank you for later.
At the moment, ReGrained offers two granola bars (as well as awesome “Eat Beer.” t-shirts and tote bags. So tempted).
The Honey Almond IPA bar is a glorious mixture of organic honey, almonds, oats, puffed quinoa, and cinnamon – made with pale spent grain, for all you pale ale lovers.
Or, if dark beer is your thing, try the Chocolate Coffee Stout bar. Its richer taste comes from dark spent grain, paired with semi-sweet chocolate, coffee, and all the other good stuff the Honey Almond IPA contains.
Both are super-healthy and delicious with reduced sugar and calories, unique textures and flavors, and all-natural, sustainable contents. Even the wrappers are compostable. These are granola bars that contain about the same amount of protein as almonds, and have over three times the dietary fiber of oats. Fiber overload? We think not.
So, why not swap your usual, boring granola for something more adventurous? And keep a look out for future products from the company – the “Regrainers” are thinking of branching out to cereal, cookies, and chips. We’re in.
Disclaimer: If you’re appointed to buy beer for the Thanksgiving party this year, don’t turn up with snack bars.