Brewing a Sustainable Future

The Brewing a Sustainable Future effort worked in partnership with the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild to engage Minnesota’s robust craft brewing and distilling industries. We worked to find collective solutions to sustainability issues facing these businesses, starting with reliably and effectively managing spent grain disposal.

Spent grain is a reusable waste product, but dependable, effective and sustainable disposal can be challenging. Most breweries and distilleries have a way to get rid of spent grains, but the process can be sporadic, unreliable, expensive or challenging to implement and maintain. To support a more efficient system, we’ve developed a variety of spent grain management support resources (see below).

The Brewing a Sustainable Future project was convened by Environmental Initiative and the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild and its members.


Spent Grains Directory

An interactive map used to connect brewers and farmers. List your brewery, your farm, or other business to get connected to spent grain exchange opportunities.


A Snapshot of Minnesota Spent Grains

Learn about the craft brewing industry in Minnesota, including spent grain volumes, cost savings, and more.

Spent Grains Infographic

Spent Grain Disposal Guide and Nutritional Information

Outlines the preparation of spent grains for removal and collection, tips for connecting with a farmer to ensure a reliable pick up, liability considerations, and other non-farmer diversion options. The nutritional analysis provides crucial information for the use of spent grain as animal feed and fertilizer.

Spent Grain Disposal Guide 2020


Helps East Metro businesses reduce waste and recycle better through free technical assistance, business recycling grants (up to $10K) and other resources.

Learn more

The Hennepin County Business Recycling Program

Offers grants, signage, technical assistance and case studies to help businesses and organizations in Hennepin County start or improve recycling programs, reduce waste and donate usable goods.

Learn More

Contact Stephanie Weir at 612-334-3388 ext. 8120 or for more information about this project.