Great news! Five thousand craft breweries produced about 25 million barrels (or 775 million gallons) of delectable beer in 2016. And while that number is very exciting, the good folks at San Francisco–based startup ReGrained are thirsty for the potential opportunities this deep-rooted industry presents. Crafting all that beer means there’s a lot of spent brewing grain left at the end of the process, which cofounders Dan Kurzrock and Jordan Schwartz set out to rescue and repurpose into granola bars that are as delicious as a freshly pulled pint.
Back in their college days, Kurzrock and Schwartz were homebrewing hobbyists who became aware of just how much raw material the process required — roughly a pound for every six-pack. At the end of the brewing process, this grain is termed “spent,” meaning that its sugars have been consumed by yeast and its usefulness (at least from a beer-production standpoint) has run its course. They noticed that this byproduct actually smelled pretty good and appeared to have an oatmeal-like consistency, so they started baking bread with it and selling it to their friends and classmates to support their homebrewing.