Out of the brew: RRC unveils new malt miso made from beer-brewing byproduct

RRC Chef Joel Lamoureux

Red River College partnered with two local microbreweries today to unveil a new culinary invention — miso made from spent grain — at an event showcasing the College’s growing Culinary Research and Innovation program, and its impact on food creation in Manitoba.

Partners from the province, federal government and industry were among the special guests at today’s miso soup tasting at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, the hub of RRC’s culinary research and education activities.

“This miso project is a really innovative partnership that links Manitoba’s dynamic microbrewery industry with local culinary arts and research,” says RRC President Paul Vogt.

RRC teamed up with Farmery Estate Brewery and Torque Brewing to test methods for using spent grains from the beer-brewing process to produce miso, putting a new twist on an ancient culinary tradition. Other partners included the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network (MAHRN) and the University of Manitoba’s Food Science department.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support scientific research and innovation that creates opportunities for the agri-food industry,” says Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Lawrence MacAulay. “Finding alternative ways to use agricultural products and increase their value helps create good jobs and grow the middle class in Canada.”

Since 2014, RRC has been ramping up its culinary research through new partnerships with industry and support from federal and provincial governments. That growth has led to many new innovations with local producers.

“Partnerships help identify new and sometimes unexpected opportunities,” says Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “Our government is proud to help support this project, which has the potential to create new value-added opportunities while creating new, delicious foods. This project reflects the innovative spirit shared by so many Manitobans.”

At today’s event, RRC’s chefs provided guests with soup, popcorn and pastries seasoned with pale malt miso from Farmery and dark malt miso from Torque, and explained the science behind the process during the tasting.

Spent grains are a byproduct of the brewing process, generally used as animal feed. Finding value-added uses for spent grains could help create commercial opportunities to bring new products to market – especially as the microbrewery industry continues to thrive.

“It was a good fit for us to partner with Red River College and utilize their culinary expertise to explore what could be done with our spent grains. We’re all about adding value to the ingredients we grow and use in our beer and that includes what happens to the byproducts,” says Farmery owner Lawrence Warwaruk. “The more government, local community groups, educational facilities, and private companies are able to coordinate their energies on these types of projects, the better we can all add value to our overall economy.”

“Sourcing relationships with food and beer is a logical complement for us,” says Torque president John Heim. “Partnering with local projects and organizations like RRC and the province is also very important. We are excited to be a part of this initiative and we’re looking forward to building a long-lasting partnership to discover more ways to create value-added opportunities to integrate food and beer.”

The College’s Culinary Research and Innovation program is increasing its activities with help from a recent $2.3 million, five-year grant from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The spent grain miso project also received support from Growing Forward 2, a five-year federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.