Local Brewery Owners Unhappy With Proposal That Would Change How They Get Rid of Grain

Bedford Co., VA - Local brewery owners are calling their Congressmen and Senators asking them to stop a proposal that would change how brewers get rid of grain after they make beer.

For some breweries, the proposal is a very big deal.

After receiving more than 2,000 comments, the Food and Drug Administration says it will revise the original plan.

Yet brewers and farmers are still concerned about any change.

The first ingredient in what could be a great meal is grain that will be used to make beer and eventually steak.

The federal government could put a stop to common practice by local brewers, though, like Apocalypse Ale Works.

"Instead of taking our grains, our healthy grains, giving them to the cattle farmers we would then have to spend extra expense taking it to a landfill," said Lee John.

The FDA wants brewers to dry and package spent grain before it goes to farmers to feed livestock.

"We're small. We can't bring in the conveyor system and everything else it would take to dry the grains and then everything it would take to package it," John said.

The government says the rule would help stop food borne illness, but they're not saying much else.

"Water is added to the grains, to help convert the starches into sugars," John said. "What's left is a grain bed that still has plenty of healthy properties that is still a usable, viable food source."

At the end of the brewing process a mash ton is filled nearly to the top, with about 2,000 pounds of spent grain, ready to be fed to cows."

"They know what's coming," said cattle owner Donna Elder.

Elder says her family's black Angus cattle love the spent grain.

"It's clean. It's pureEven the beef tastes better. The beef is clean. The beef is good," Elder said.

Now farmers and brewers have got a beef with the government.

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