Our farms are the beating heart of Ramsbury Brewery. The barley we use to brew our beer is grown and harvested in fields but a short walk away from the brewery itself. Of course, when brewing beer, there is always a certain amount of waste. It’s inevitable. For example, there are a lot of spent grains left over after a brew. But as farmers we knew that it didn’t have to be waste at all. We farm over 7,000 acres in hand, most of which now is arable crops. But, we still have a small herd of Aberdeen Angus cross South Devon cattle, who graze in fields a few miles from us. During winter, they live in purpose built barns with plenty of space to eat and shelter from the rain whilst it’s cold. They are wonderful breeds, and ensuring that they are healthy and in great condition is a priority for our Farms Manager.
So what does this have to do with our spent grains? Well, after the mashing process, the solid grains – ‘spent grains’- are full of fibre and protein, as well as vitamins and minerals that are all excellent sources of nutrients. One of the many things our farmers have been excellent at over the years, is diversifying and looking at ways to reduce waste wherever we possibly can. We looked at our brewery, where we have rather a lot of spent brewers grains to spare. Then we looked at the farm, specifically at our rarebreed cattle. It was decided that instead of just getting these grains taken away and chucked into landfill, we would take them over to the farm and feed the cows the grains! Nutritious and an excellent extra source of food to feed the cattle, it means that we have limited impact on the surrounding environment by throwing the waste away, and also keeps our Farm Managers extra happy. It’s a win win, and of course, the cows also enjoy the tasty treats courtesy of the brewery
This is one of the many steps we have taken since we began making beer back in 2004, to become a sustainable brewery. And it’s something we will continue, and probably never stop, working towards in ways that we can be ever more sustainable. Ways we can protect the landscape whilst also brewing the very best artisan ales and craft lager in Wiltshire.