Eat Beer with ReGrained
By: Casha Doemland
What started out as a hobby and a way around the legal drinking age in college, eventually grew into a full-fledged business with the slogan "Eat Beer.”
Back in 2009, Dan Kurzrock, founder and CEO of ReGrained, began brewing beer at his UCLA frat house because he was two years shy of purchasing it legally.
By 2011, Dan and co-founder Jordan Schwartz, stepped into the world of bread making to get better use of the spent grains and earn enough money selling bread to equal out the costs of brewing beer. After graduation, Dan and Jordan officially launched ReGrained, swapping bread for granola bars because they were easier to scale and less labor intensive to make.
So, what makes ReGrained the unicorn in the granola bar crowd?
ReGrained use their own SuperGrain+ as a key ingredient in their products, a special blend of spent grains that forms the base of their granola. For those unfamiliar with the process, brewing takes the starch (sugar) out of the grains, which constitutes it as spent because it's already "spent" itself trying to make beer. Afterward, dietary fiber and plant-based protein remain.
"By describing it as a SuperGrain, we're elevating it to the super status it deserves because it should be valued as an ingredient, and in ReGrained, it can be," shares Dan. "Even though this material has been around for a long time, it doesn't always go to waste. Sometimes it goes to feed animals. What we’re doing is proposing a higher use for edible upcycling."
Edible upcycle consists of the team at ReGrained harvesting the spent grains from local breweries, dehydrating them and then combining it with delicious flavors. The lack of waste does not end there as sustainability flows all the way into the packaging.
ReGrained uses compostable film, which is a non-negotiable value for the company and something they strive to make the new standard. One layer is made of NatureFlex, a cellulose film made from sustainably harvested wood fibers and the other of TIPA, a biosealant layer made from synthetic compounds that break down in nature. This double layer not only ensures your bar is fresh, it promotes zero waste as the wrapper can be thrown right into your compost bin amongst your eggshells and banana peels.
As far as design, the overall packaging has transformed throughout the last six years, with the last round of modifications done by design firm Nucleus Maximus. Now, the only element from the original design to remain is the bottle cap with the grain going through it. "We were one of those companies that didn’t release the perfect product right away, we released a good idea and worked on it," adds Dan.
ReGrained is now a team of eight with products available around the country. Their newest collection showcases the nutrition and flavor of upcycled SuperGrain+ flour paired with delectable flavors, from Honey Cinnamon IPA Supporting Bar to Chocolate Coffee Stout Energizing Bar.
Additionally, they're in talks with some of the world's largest food and beverage companies regarding partnerships as well as working on a patent with the USDA for a technology they invented. All in all, ReGrained is all about reducing waste and helping the planet with their innovative technologies and tasty bars.