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Photo courtesy fo Cooperathon 2019
The flour produced from the spent grain has a brown hue The Boomerang co-founders
“Basically, we identified this problem … with spent grains by
going to the microbreweries and talking to the brewers. We asked
them about the solutions they were using to get rid of this spent
grain. What we found was they weren’t happy with those solu-tions,
so we decided to create this solution in development with
For now, the co-op is working exclusively with Les Brasseurs
RJ and its popular, small label Belle Gueule brand of pilsner, blonde,
amber and other beers. Although, a number of other microbrew-eries
have expressed interest in working with the Boomerang co-founders
in the future.
“Actually, a lot of them (are) interested in making something
out of the spent grain. They really want to cooperate and work with
us,” Conrad said.
The group visits Les Brasseurs’ Belle Gueule location as soon
as it is alerted by brewery staff that there is waste material to pro-cess.
The spent grain (which is about 80 per cent water) is collected
and then dried using large dehydrators at the brewery to remove
the water from the leftover material. The dried grain is then trans-ported
to a local bakery, St-Vincent, where it is milled into flour.
The spent grain produces a flour that is brown or golden in
appearance. It can be used in combination with wheat flour to
bake bread, or by itself to make cookies or biscuits. For the past
several months, St-Vincent has been using the flour to create an
“They are really into this project,” Conrad said. “Their clients
are very happy with it. What they are saying is the taste is similar
to chocolate or caramel, and they really like it. Our flour is also
changing the texture of the bread and they like that too.
“Our point really is to make a product that is tasty and nutri-tious.
Reducing food waste is great, but in the end, if the taste isn’t
great, it doesn’t work. Our point is to focus on the taste of the prod-uct,
that it’s special and something people really like.”
Conrad and his partners are optimistic about Boomerang’s
future. The co-op is currently producing about 200 kilograms of
flour per month and has set a target to produce two tonnes of
flour per month in the coming year. They are also looking to start
working with additional microbreweries and bakeries, and find
their own location where they can dry the spent grain and mill
it. In addition, they are investigating how the water that is sepa-rated
from the spent grain could be used to create other beverages
The biggest challenge Conrad and his fellow co-founders face
is creating a market for their product.
“The problem for us is to create the market for this flour. It’s
basically a whole new product. We’re not the first company to
produce flour out of spent grains, but it’s still quite new in Quebec,”
“We have to go step by step to open the market for us. We
have to create and educate the companies and the consumers
about this new flour. That’s why it’s a bit challenging for us, but it’s
also why it’s kind of exciting for us. We have to create this whole
Photo courtesy fo Boomerang
SUMMER 2021 § POURED CANADA § 21