Thank Agriculture When You Take A Sip of That Beer
It’s the time of year when people tend to crack open a few cold ones while watching the game (and really, any game). As you’re drinking your beer, take a second to acknowledge and thank the army of not so obvious people that make it possible for you to enjoy your adult beverage. Not sure who that group of people might be? Let me introduce you to one of Wilbur-Ellis’ incredibly rewarding programs.
Breweries across the nation regularly face two major problems: co-products from the brewing process and little to no space to store them—this is where Wilbur-Ellis comes in. We take two products left over from brewing—spent brewers’ grain and spent brewers’ yeast—and ship it to local dairy and beef cattle farms. These local farmers can then incorporate it into their cattle feed. We call it our “Brew-to-Moo” program and I’m honored to be a part of it.
If we did not purchase and transport these co-products to local dairy and beef cattle farms, they would be treated as waste – dumped in a landfill or composted. Our use for the spent grain and spent yeast benefits all parties involved: the breweries gain a new revenue stream and improve their sustainability; farmers receive economical, nutritious, safe and wholesome feed for their cattle; and, last but not least, the animals love it!
The Brew-to-Moo program started more than 10 years ago in Southern California and over the years we have partnered with many well-known breweries including some of the largest brewery campuses in the world. We are lucky to work with such well-established brands as well as the new and up-and-coming brands.
Cows and Their Craft
It’s no secret that the beer business is changing. Younger generations of beer drinkers want a different kind of beer experience than their grandparents, and even their parents. Along with old favorites, they want the new and exotic flavors of craft beer.
We have recognized this shift and have evolved with the industry by expanding the Brew-to-Moo program to an additional 29 craft breweries. Drawing on the experience that serves our larger brewing partners, we have been able to provide the same service, regulatory expertise, investment and trust to our smaller brewing partners.
Our brewery team has enjoyed growing this program. Along the way, we have done everything possible to stay true to Wilbur-Ellis’ core values, or IDEAS—Integrity, Diversity, Effort, Accountability and Service.
I’m also very proud of the selfless effort our team displays every day. No matter the situation, we never have the attitude of, “This isn’t my job, not my role.” Instead, we value the attitude of, “What can we all do to make sure that we satisfy our customers and suppliers and run a good business that is set in our core values?” This enables us to be more efficient and serve everyone better.
The best part of working with our Brew-to-Moo program is seeing the positive impact it has on so many lives. Breweries are able to reduce their waste and environmental impact all while earning extra revenue to continue doing what they love. Our freight partners have consistent, year-round work. The local, family dairy and beef farmers keep their cows happy, healthy and productive. Milk and beef from these happy cows feed consumers all over the U.S.
The community impact that a few beers can have is much larger than maybe you have previously thought. By being the catalyst that joins the brewing industry together with the local dairy and beef industries, Wilbur-Ellis uses our IDEAS to bring people together.
The local farmer, brewer, truckers, all their families, the cattle, the dairy and beef consumer, creamery worker, beef plant worker, and all of us here at Wilbur-Ellis thank you for being part of a sustainable, safe and economical Brew-To-Moo program.