Brewing a Sustainable Future is a grant-funded sustainability initiative to help MNCBG members find solutions to sustainability issues facing their businesses, starting with managing spent grain disposal so that it is easier, more reliable, and more cost effective.

Learn More About Spent Grain Disposal and This Initiative

Project outcome #1:


Spent grain is a reusable waste product, but we know reliable and sustainable disposal is a challenge for our members. We’ve heard that most breweries have a system for managing spent grain waste, but the process can be sporadic, unreliable, costly, or challenging to implement and maintain.

The Guild, in partnership with Environmental Initiative, is focusing on some specific ways to help manage spent grain:

On Site – Removing spent grain from brewing equipment is physically demanding and time consuming, and storage is a challenge. We are identifying grants for in-house for in-house equipment that could help streamline this process.

Removal from Site – Standardized, reliable pick-up and hauling is a barrier for brewers. We are working with service providers to ease the burden on collection and build more reliability into the system.

Off-site storage – Brewer supply of spent grain does not always match farmer demand and availability for collection. We are working to find common spaces for the distribution of spent grains for farmers and other market-based end users.

Other support –We know that immediate support is needed, even as we research long-term solutions. For short-term impact, we are working to provide farmer directories, best practice guides, and example contract language to be used as we research long-term solutions with the help of our environmental partners and breweries.


BizRecycling helps East Metro businesses reduce waste and recycle better through free technical assistance, business recycling grants (up to $10K) and other resources. Learn more:

The Hennepin County Business Recycling Program offers grants, signage, technical assistance and case studies to help businesses and organizations in Hennepin County start or improve recycling programs, reduce waste and donate usable goods. Learn more:

The Guild is partnering with Environmental Initiative to convene this project and provide technical assistance. Funding is provided by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties, and the City of Minneapolis.