- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A Cedar Rapids brewing company has made an unusual arrangement to provide a craft brewing byproduct to a farm to use as chicken feed.

KCRG-TV (https://bit.ly/1JtUkaP ) reports that Lion Bridge Brewing Company in Cedar Rapids uses about 500 to 800 pounds of barley to produce about 300 gallons of their St. Pat Potato Stout. After the fermentation process, the wet grain would usually be thrown out, but now is being given to Bass Family Farms for free.

The arrangement began when Chris Bass of Bass Family Farms called and asked the brewery if they had any used barley left over from crafting beer, which they did. Bass says the agreement between the brewery and farm is ideal because buying chicken feed by the bag is expensive, and his chickens like the wet grain.

“It’s definitely a good way to use up a product that would get wasted in the food system because we’re able to complete the circle if we can feed them locally 100 percent of the time, it’s a local product,” Bass said.

The farm near Mount Vernon started a flock of Rhode Island Red chickens last year for its country market that sells shares of its vegetable production by subscription in the summer.

Quinton McClain, the brew master at Lion Bridge, says “If we didn’t have a farmer to help us out, it’s a waste product and we’d have to figure out how to dispose of it.”

According to McClain, some large breweries sell their wet grain for animal feed, but Lion Bridge is so small that it’s not worth selling. Bass Farms pays them in a few dozen “thank you” eggs.

The two businesses are thinking about producing bumper stickers advertising their unusual partnership. They already have one idea for a slogan: Drink more beer, the chickens are hungry.”


Information from: KCRG-TV, https://www.kcrg.com

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