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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Upcycled Beer Grain Turns Into Granola Bars

Posted By on Tue, Sep 24, 2013 at 5:00 PM

click to enlarge Owners Daniel Kurzrock and Jordan Schwarts can be found selling their baked goods at the Treasure Island Flea Market. - COURTESY PHOTO/REGRAINED
  • Courtesy Photo/ReGrained
  • Owners Daniel Kurzrock and Jordan Schwarts can be found selling their baked goods at the Treasure Island Flea Market.

What started as a college hobby for Daniel Kurzrock and Jordan Schwartz turned into a business.

During their time studying Economics at UCLA, the two started brewing beer from home. Soon enough, the 20 pounds of grain used in each 5 gallon batch quickly piled up.

"We wanted to find something creative to do instead of throwing it in the dumpster," Kurzrock says.

See also: Beer of the Week: New Belgium Coconut Curry Hefeweizen

The two then came up with ReGrained, a granola bar company that partners with local breweries who would have otherwise thrown out the spent grain. In beer-making, malt, barley that has been soaked in water and dried with hot air, is the backbone of any brew and is the source of ReGrained's primary ingredient. Malting germinates the barley which creates the enzymes that enable the starch from the grain to be broken down into fermentable sugars. That barley is usually thrown out. That's where ReGrained comes in.

"Grain that's left behind has a lot of fiber, and it tastes good," Kurzrock says.

According to their website, approximately 200 million barrels of beer are consumed each year, with an average of 6 billion pounds of grain used by the brewing industry in the United States.

The two developed a bread recipe that they gave to friends for feedback. The outdoorsy types that frequent bike pathways and mountain trails, the two eventually created recipes for granola bars to take along with them.

"The problem with bread is that it's only good the day you bake it," Kurzrock says.

click to enlarge Spent grain used in the beer-making process is upcycled and turned into granola bars. - COURTESY PHOTO/REGRAINED
  • Courtesy Photo/ReGrained
  • Spent grain used in the beer-making process is upcycled and turned into granola bars.

ReGrained crafts recipes for their beer-grain granola bars to mimic what breweries are doing with their beers. Take for example their Chocolate Stout bar, which features grain used to make a chocolate stout and comes with notes of chocolate and coffee. Almonds and honey used in their bars come from Fat Uncle Farms. The honey comes from bees that pollinate the same almonds.

"It's that kind of full-circle thinking that motivates us," Kurzrock says.

The two live in the city but make their product at their home kitchen in Burlingame. Effective at the beginning of this year, the California Homemade Food Act allows certain low-risk foods, known as cottage foods, to be made in private homes and sold to the public. Kurzrock says that this has been especially helpful because it gives them an incubator period to build out their business without the cost of committing to a commercial kitchen. The guys behind ReGrained can be found weekly at the Treasure Island Flea Market.


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Rhys Alvarado

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