This is simply awesome.
Every work week Brandon Skall and Jeff Hancock of DC Brau shovel about 1,500 pounds of soggy grain out of their mash tun. Left to itself, this used-up barley (it resembles “dehydrated oatmeal,” according to Skall) would begin to fester, turning sour and smelly in a day or less.
None of it goes into the city’s sewer system, assert Skall and Hancock. Their usual modus operandi is to donate their leftovers to local farmers, who use for it for composting or, more commonly, for livestock feed. (“Cows are number one,” says Skall, but goats and poultry like it as well.)
To celebrate Martin Luther King Day, the partners set their sights a few links up the food chain and decided to turn their waste into bread for the city’s indigent population.
The day after the holiday, Skall and Hancock sealed five gallons of spent grain in a food-grade plastic bucket and rushed the grain, still warm from steeping in hot water, to Pizzeria Paradiso, which turned it into loaves at its kitchens in Dupont Circle and Old Town.
“It was kind of fibrous and a little dry,” commented Ruth Gresser, owner and head chef of Pizzeria Paradiso. She kneaded one part spent grain into four parts regular bread dough, adding a little clover honey for sweetness. All together, the collaboration produced 65 loaves, which were donated to Bread for the City, a Washington-based organization that provides food and other services to thousands of families.
The group was grateful, mentioned Skall. “Usually, they get bread discarded by food stores. It’s very rare they get fresh-baked bread.”
Pretty cool, let's hope more companies give back in similar ways. Listen to TATPodcast talk about DC Brau.
I am Frank Chow and I approved this message