What happens to the packaging in which food ingredients are shipped? Some are recyclable, some go in the trash… but in the case of the malted grains used in making beer at Weyerbacher Brewing Company, what’s leftover within the seed husk ‘wrappers’ is actually very valuable! You see, 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.
Beer is made by extracting sugars from the starchy interior of the malted grains. When cooked, much of the starchy inside of the milled grains is converted into sugar and collected to become beer. The grain husk and whatever amount of remaining starches are, in fact, NOT garbage!
Rather than committing this by-product to the landfill, we have cultivated relationships with some local farmers to provide it to them free of charge to supplement their cattle and pig’s diets. All they have to do is come and get it! We currently provide all of our grain to a dairy farmer in the Kutztown area and a pig farmer in the Poconos.
Nolan Thevnet, owner of Stryker Farms in Saylorsburg, PA, uses our fresh, wet grain to sustain the pigs on his 47 acre free-range farm. ”The wet brewer’s grain is very high in protein and has lots of vitamins and minerals and healthy fats so we can decrease the amount of protein and vitamin supplements the pigs need.” When asked what other benefits the grain offers, he joked, “Barley, wheat & rye grains are all high in fibers which bind to ammonia so our farm also ‘smells’ much more pleasant than others!”
He feeds the pigs grain by shoveling it from his bins into a feeding trough. ”The pigs get really excited about the arrival of the brewer’s grain tails wag and they get really screechy in excitement!“
Visit Weyerbacher Brewing Company to learn how and when you can tour our brewery free of charge! While in Easton, try a dish made with Stryker Farms’s pork at Pearly Baker’s Ale House… where you’ll happen to find Weyerbacher’s beers on draft!
Contact Stryker Farm to schedule a visit with the pigs! In the fall they’ll be opening their brand-new on-farm store. While there, you can pick up some of his amazing bratwurst made with Weyerbacher’s Blithering Idiot Barleywine! Nature’s Way Market in Easton carries Stryker products and if you’re in Philly, you can find Stryker meats at Fair Food Farmstand in Reading Terminal Market, Greensgrow Urban Farm in NE Philly as well as Mariposa Food Co-op in West Philly.