More than 300 pounds of malted grains are used to make one 11-barrel batch of beer at Big Bear Brewing Co. in Coral Springs. The natural sugars in the grain are extracted in a process called mashing, which is later converted into alcohol via fermentation. But all that spent grain doesn't just boil away. Hundreds of pounds of the sticky, rich stuff are left at the end of the process. And getting rid of it can be rather tricky.
Brewer Matt Cox has found a good way to recycle all that used grain. Instead of dumping it, Cox donates the 300 pounds from each batch to a local farm. Each time he brews, a farmer comes by to pick up big plastic barrels Cox fills with the stuff. It's hauled away in a pickup truck and fed to cows, which, according to the farmer, "Do really well on it."
The process began as a way to get the grains removed from the restaurant for free. But afterward, it gave
idea. If a calf were raised solely on malted barely, how would the meat taste?
To find out, the farm Cox is in partnership with will raise at least one
calf solely on the grain used in his brewing process. As an end goal,
Cox hopes to use the malted beef in next January's Field of Beers event,
a gourmet beer pairing held the night before the Jupiter Craft Brewer's
Festival inside Roger Dean Stadium.
I've heard of cows being raised on beer, sake, and even wine. But the
prospect of pairing Cox's beer with a dinner made with meat from this
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calf sounds ultracool. As of right now, the plan isn't set in stone.
But provided Cox can see the idea to fruition, it should be a really
cool draw to an already stellar annual event.
Stay tuned for more.