Brewing beer generates a lot of leftover organic waste via spent grains. But now researchers in Denmark have turned the tables and found a way to turn sushi rice that would go to waste into beer, reports Beverage Daily.
While rice has been used to make beer in Asia before, it’s a challenging ingredient because it’s starchy and blocks the filters used in the brewing process. Researchers from the Technical University of Denmark, along with a company called ScienceBrew, partnered up with the Copenhagen restaurant Sticks ‘n’ Sushi to upcycle as much excess cooked rice as possible.
The trio was able to brew up 10 liter batches of beer made almost entirely out of surplus cooked rice, water and little bit of malt. The result is dubbed Gohan Biiru, and it’s available at the Sticks ‘n’ Sushi in the Lyngby district in Copenhagen (road trip!).
While creating beer from rice in one restaurant is just a drop in the bucket in the fight against food waste, it is part of a larger upcycling trend that is going global. ReGrained actually uses the spent grains from beer brewing to create flour that is both sold and turned into snack bars, Pulp Pantry turns the leftover bits from juicing into flavorful snacks, and Render is making new drinks out of leftover whey and pickle juice. And, of course, there’s Toast Ale, which makes beer out of bread that would otherwise be thrown out.
As my colleague Catherine Lamb wrote, to truly make an impact in reducing food waste, we need more behavioral changes at the consumer level. But an easy way to start (if you’re in Copenhagen) is to consume a pint of sushi rice beer.