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An Unusual Partnership


Bearpaw River Brewing Company builds a partnership with a local elk ranch practicing sustainability and ecologically friendly protocol. Believe it or not, Brewer's waste, also know as barley mash, is a great additive to an elk's diet providing a protein and fiber rich addition to natural foraging.

Brewer's waste consists of spent grain which is left over from the brewing process. On the front end the malted barley and other grains are mixed with hot water. The hot water stimulates enzymatic activity which changes the naturally occurring starch in the grain to sugar. That is what Bearpaw wants, the sugar, which helps to start the fermentation process. That "sugar water" is drained off leaving behind residual protein and starchy endosperm which is a great feed supplement for the elk.

Bearpaw River Brewing Company would typically have to pay to dispose of the spent grain. Herein the partnership. The Northern Lights Elk Ranch of Alaska, located in palmer, a short 20-mile drive from the Bearpaw River Brewing Company, touches base with the brewery on a weekly basis and arranges to pick up the barely mash at the end of each brewing day. Bearpaw saves on disposal and the Northern Lights elk get a treat a couple of times each week.

Not only does the Bearpaw River Brewing Company provide a wide array of delicious and Thirst-quenching beers, they are part of a sustainable food Cycle which helps the Northern Lights Elk Ranch of Alaska provide lean and flavorful elk meat to the Matanuska Valley. 

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