Upcycling Beer into Breakfast

Reclaiming brewery byproducts for new recipes.

Mary Ladd

SAN FRANCISCO’S REGRAINED creates the breakfast bar of champions—chocolate coffee stout, blueberry saison, or honey cinnamon IPA, anyone? The company was founded by Dan Kurzrock and Jordan Schwartz, hometown friends from Burlingame, itself situated between Silicon Valley and San Francisco. It all began with an “a-ha” moment when the friends were beer-making undergrads at UCLA, and they started baking bread to cover the cost of materials. 

The duo realized the brewing process’ byproducts of spent beer grain and plant material are high in fiber and also pre-biotic, which could contribute to gut health if consumed. They decided to try using these ingredients to make, eat, and eventually sell tasty things. ReGrained’s product line from this “upcycled” sustainable grain presents what Kurzrock calls a “higher use” for this stuff—traditionally discarded or sold to farmers for animal feed, but which ReGrained now “harvests” from breweries.

They’ve so far upcycled over 24,000 pounds of grain, and the process of upcycling leads to lower sugar and increased fiber in a wide variety of snacks and foods, from pretzels to cookies, bread, and crackers.