Beer, Mushrooms and Beef
Alumni Tackles Sustainability Olds College Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program alumnus Alex Villeneuve has gained international media coverage in recent years for his revolutionary system of using spent grains from breweries as a substrate to be used in the expedited growth of gourmet mushrooms. While constantly revising and improving upon his mushroom growth process, Alex has expanded his operation to include a way to take his used substrate and produce a new, mycelium enhanced livestock feed product. This livestock feed product is high in protein and more nutritionally available to animals because of the mushroom rootâ€™s digestion of the brewerâ€™s grain. Before arriving at Olds College, Alex was a culinary student and professional chef. Having developed a passion and curiosity for brewing, Alex was accepted into the Brewmaster and Brewery Operations Management program and immediately noticed a problem within the industry. A lot of grain goes into the production of beer, and there was no efficient way to upcycle or re-use the leftovers from the process. 12 Olds College Horizons
With no efficient and cost effective means of disposal, the spent grains are considered a waste product by breweries. The disposal costs of these grains can also be very high depending on the location of the brewery. To find a way to save breweries money and eliminate thousands of pounds of waste in the process, Alex decided to experiment with using spent grains as a substrate for mushroom growth.