Beyond animal feed? The valorisation of brewers’ spent grain

Simon Bolwig, Michael Spjelkavik Mark, Maaike Karlijn Happel, Andreas Brekke

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


A key factor in making progress towards a circular bioeconomy and hence more sustainable patterns of consumption and production is the capture and valorisation of organic residues from industry. In the brewing industry, the large quantities of spent grain produced during the brewing process have spurred interest in developing various valorisation pathways as an alternative to the traditional use of spent grain as animal feed. Spent grain has a high protein content and other nutritional assets, as well as potential as a feedstock in various industries, including food and nutrition, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and biofuels. However, company decisions on how to manage organic residues not only reflect the technical possibilities, but are also influenced by the economic supply chain and regulatory aspects, as well as corporate social responsibility policies and initiatives. In view of this, this chapter investigates the use of organic residues in brewing value chains with a focus on spent grain, and identifies the factors determining existing and alternative management options for this residue. The chapter is based on a multiple case study of thirty-two breweries in Denmark and Norway.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Waste to Value
Subtitle of host publicationValorisation Pathways for Organic Waste Streams in Circular Bioeconomies
EditorsSimon Bolwig, Michael Spjelkavik Mark, Maaike Karlijn Happel, Andreas Brekke
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780429863257
ISBN (Print)9781138624979
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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