Hewn–a Chicago-based artisanal bakery that utilizes heritage grains and specializes in hand forged, naturally fermented breads and pastries–has found an interesting and sustainable way to utilize the spent grains from local breweries that would normally be thrown away.
When it comes to brewing beer, spent grains can constitute as much as 85 percent of a brewerys total by-product. Hewn obtains buckets of spent grains after the brewing process from local breweries such as Temperance, Peckish Peg and Sketchbook Brewing Co. Head Baker/Owner Ellen and her team pick up the buckets once a week and carefully fold the spent grains (generally consisting of barley and whole wheat) into the dough each morning to produce 15 to 20 fresh loaves per day. This “craft beer bread” undergoes a unique baking process to remove the moisture and produces a warm, nutty and complex bread, the bakery explained.
In addition to the Spent Grain bread, the bakers at Hewn have recently started baking actual beer bread, incorporating both spent grains and beer in the bread. Working with local brewery Temperance, Hewn has been incorporating their Greenwood Beach blonde ale into their bread. Owners Ellen and Julie describe the Greenwood Beach Beer Bread as “almost like eating beer,” in that the bread has a full, hoppy, smooth taste that is the perfect compliment to a pastrami sandwich or alongside a triple cream or sharp cheese.
For more info on Hewn and its beer bread brands, head over to the bakery’s website.