Town Haul Podcast | Episode 33

  • Host: Amy Koonin (Rubicon)
  • Guest: Daniel Kurzrock (ReGrained Co-Founder)
  • Listen Here!

With ReGrained, you can now eat beer. Their energy, immunity, and antioxidant bars are made from the excess (and often thrown away) grains created when brewing beer. ReGrained is focused on cutting down food waste and moving the needle on the positive impact of upcycling.

On this Town Haul episode, Amy Koonin chats with ReGrained’s co-founder Daniel Kurzrock on the beginnings of the SuperGrain, food waste, sustainable packaging, and more.

On how ReGrained got its start:

KURZROCK: “The honest truth was that I was an under-aged college home brewer that was obsessed with making my own beer and was just horrified with what felt like a massive amount of waste that I was creating with every batch. It’s about a pound for every six-pack, so even if I’m only making five gallons of beer, which is about a third of a keg, that’s 20 to 30 pounds of food that I’m creating that I’m not doing anything with. 

So, love making beer. Didn’t love wasting food in that process. So, I came up with a scheme to bake loaves of bread, sell those loaves of bread to friends with the grain and then use the proceeds to purchase more ingredients to brew beer for free. That was kind of my college, you know, recreational entrepreneurship hobby of making beer and bread and having one fund the other.”

On the ReGrained ingredient:

KURZROCK: “I’ve always loved that idea of alchemy because what we’re doing is we’re basically seeing waste as a resource. The brewers, to them the grain is waste because they can’t make more beer with it.

They call it spent grain because it has spent its ability to make beer. But, food companies are always looking for new ways to make great tasting products that are more marketable because they’re better for people and better for the planet, and this is an ingredient that enables them really authentically to do that.”

On when they won a NEXTY award:

KURZROCK: “There are almost 4,000 companies that exhibit at this, and only four are in the category, the category that we won, which is the Editor’s Choice. The criteria were for innovation, inspiration, and integrity. This kind of came off the heels of a really challenging discovery that we had with the compostable packaging that we were using for our bar, and the transition that we had to make there and it’s something that we’ve been really kind of radically transparent and vulnerable about, and it was great to see that people were paying attention to that and that people are starting to care.

A lot of people in the consumer packaged goods space don’t like to talk about that P in CPG, the packaging, and it’s a huge problem.” 

On what being a B Corp certified business means to him:

KURZROCK: “Yeah, so getting the B Corp certification can be thought of as being similar to some of these third-party certifications that you might see for ingredients, for example. So, maybe something certified organic or certified non-GMO or certified fair trade. It’s like having that type of certification, but for your business model. 

So, it’s saying this is a business that doesn’t just exist to maximize profit and focus on short-term, even quarterly earnings, for example. Instead, this is a business that is committed to considering the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit, as a kind of an integrated platform. This is a business that exists not just to do less harm, but actually, do some good in the world.”

On what his favorite beer is:

KURZROCK: “My favorite style of beer is Saison. I really like beers where the yeast is doing a lot of work and is developing interesting flavors. As a brewer, a lot of people don’t talk about this, but you’re basically chair of a yeast party planning committee and I think Saison is a style that really showcases that.”