COV E R S TORY
As part of the project, the group collects spent grain
from a local brewery, dries it and mills it into flour that
can be used to bake bread, cookies and other treats.
Since 2012, Okanagan Crush Pad has used a lees filter, which
separates the solids from wine resulting in less residual material to
go into septic tanks. Additionally, tanks are cleaned with a simple
pressure wash without chemicals, which reduces the amount of
contaminated water going back into the ground.
“Anything we can do to limit our water use is great,”
One bit of advice Coletta has for other wine producers who
are just starting out or looking to expand their operation: think
about a sewage treatment plant or process early on.
“We did many things right, but one of the things we didn’t
do was factor that in,” she said. “Now we’ve put a lot of effort and
energy into making sure that we don’t overburden that system.”
Although the cost of undertaking some of these measures has
been significant, Coletta and her husband didn’t hesitate when it
came time to make the decision.
“We’re in the wine business. Every year we take from nature
and we expect nature to be good to us and give us a bountiful har-vest.
We have a duty and responsibility to give back to our land,”
“That grape vine is a healthy body and it’s like anything: if
you’re feeding it good food and take care of it, and it’s getting all of
the nutrients it needs to survive, it’s going to give you back great
and beautiful fruit. It’s really important people understand that.”
Turning beer into bread
Tangui Conrad and some of his classmates at a business school in
Montreal are big fans of the city’s craft beer scene and often gather
at one of the many local brew pubs.
As much as they enjoy the products those pubs have to offer,
they were disturbed to learn how much waste product the brewing
process can create. It’s been estimated that Montreal microbrew-eries
produce as much as 3,400 tonnes of spent grain each year.
Nearly half of that amount is collected by farmers who charge the
breweries a fee for collecting the spent grain. The rest of it is essen-tially
‘Wouldn’t it be great if that spent grain could be repurposed?’
they wondered. Conrad and three of his classmates were so taken
with the idea that they founded a co-op called Boomerang about a
year ago. Its primary mission is to find innovative ways to reduce
food waste in the city.
The co-op’s first pilot project was launched midway through
2020. As part of the project, the group collects spent grain from
a local brewery, dries it and mills it into flour that can be used to
bake bread, cookies and other treats.
“The four of us share the same values when it comes to eco-friendliness
and it triggered us to want to fight food waste,” Conrad
said of the inspiration for the co-op.
Boomerang’s spent grain collection at a Montreal microbrewery Dehydration of the spent grain to remove water from the leftover material
Photo courtesy fo Boomerang
20 § POURED CANADA § www.poured.ca