Did you know that the average craft brewery generates two tons of “spent grain” every week? That’s up to 500 pounds per ten kegs. This is why NETZRO, an innovative food recovery company, is transforming spent grain from brewing into flour.
Spent grain is made up of barley, wheat, oats, and rye. Sometimes it’s used to feed livestock or put into a biodegrading dumpster, but most often it ends up in a landfill contributing to methane emissions. NETZRO is taking this protein, fiber, and fat-rich byproduct, drying it in an infrared kiln, and sending it to an artisanal grain mill to be turned into all-purpose flour.
The Minneapolis-based company has started the Twin Cities Spent Grain Co-Op to sell their upcycled flour directly to customers and partners with several local breweries and one distillery to source their spent grain. If you’re not in the Minneapolis area, you can also find their whole wheat flour on Etsy.
NETZRO hopes to turn their upcycled flour into a scalable, nation-wide practice. The pandemic “flour shortage” actually gave the company somewhat of a boost this year as people stuck at home rushed to get their hands on baking supplies. At $12.50 per 24 oz bag, the flour is not affordable for everyone, but if you want to support a sustainable company reducing waste and emissions, order some beer flour for your next batch of cookies!