Waste not, want not: Red River College and local microbreweries take an innovative approach to leftovers

Who knew there’s more to beer leftovers than what lingers in the bottom of a stubby at the end of a party?

Red River College and two local microbreweries in Winnipeg teamed up make use of the spent grain that’s left at the end of the brewing process, in an experiment that shows how far a little imagination and innovation can go. Together, they made a new kind of miso — the thick paste that’s normally made from fermented soy beans and is a staple of Japanese cooking.

Spent grain is a by-product of the brewing industry and generally used as animal feed. Finding innovative uses for it could help create more valuable commercial opportunities with a chance to bring new products to market — an important consideration as Canada’s microbrewery industry continues to thrive.

Red River College has been ramping up its culinary research since 2014 through new partnerships with industry and support from federal and provincial governments; the shift has led to many innovations with local producers — in this case, Farmery Estate Brewery and Torque Brewing Company. The college research chefs made soup, popcorn and pastries seasoned with pale malt miso from Farmery and dark malt miso from Torque.

“It was a good fit for us to partner with Red River College and utilize their culinary expertise to explore what could be done with our spent grains,” said Farmery owner Lawrence Warwaruk. “We’re all about adding value to the ingredients we grow and use in our beer, and that includes what happens to the by-products.”

Industry: Agriculture | Food
Funded by: Innovation Enhancement (IE) Grant

About Red River College Polytechnic

Red River College (RRC) is Manitoba’s largest institute of applied learning. The institution is renowned for providing accessible, innovative, applied learning and research in an... Learn more