Riverbend Malt House announced a very cool milestone this week: 100,000 pounds of rootlets have been repurposed for the nearby ecosystem of local farmers. While not usable in the malting process, Riverbend sends the remaining husks— or rootlets— from each batch of malt to nearby farms to be repurposed as animal feed.
“This process completely closes the loop in terms of sustainability,” says Riverbend Malt House CEO Scott Hickman. “Consistent with our Malt With A Mission philosophy, kindness to the environment is important. If we create waste we want to turn it into a byproduct, or reduce the amount of waste created.”
In this case, the byproduct makes for happy cows at North Carolina farms like J4 Cattle Company in Morganton. “Our herd of steer eat close to a ton of rootlets every week. The young calves enjoy it too,” says owner Robin Jackson. “This has been a great partnership all the way around.”
Rootlet repurposing is one of Riverbend’s many tactics for lessening their environmental impact, which includes the reduction of 1,064,030 of CO2 in ten years through local sourcing within 500 miles of the malthouse.