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Open Outcry Brewing Co.'s Spent Grain Used As Compost In Local Garden

By Howard Ludwig | August 9, 2017 5:55am
 The spent grain from Open Outcry Brewing Co. in Morgan Park will someday soon become food for flowers and vegetables at the nearby Edna White Community Garden. Brewery owner John Brand delivered about 350 pounds of the beer-making byproduct to the neighborhood garden's compost bins Tuesday.
Edna White Community Garden
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MORGAN PARK — The spent grain from Open Outcry Brewing Co. in Morgan Park will someday soon become food for flowers and vegetables at the nearby Edna White Community Garden.

John Brand, the owner of the new brewery and pizza pub, delivered about 350 pounds of the used grain to the compost heap Tuesday at 1850 W. Monterey Ave. in Morgan Park.

Three new compost bins were installed at the community garden just east of the Morgan Park District police station last week, said Kathy Figel, the caretaker of the garden named for the community activist who was killed in 1993.

Flowers, vegetables and bees in the Edna White Community Garden will be among the beneficiaries of the compost created by the spent grain from Open Outcry Brewing Co. in Morgan Park. [DNAinfo/Howard A. Ludwig]

The bins were built by students in an after-school program at Percy Julian High School in Washington Heights, Figel said.

Brand "made beer out of it, and now I am going to make dirt out of it," Figel said of the spent grain as hungry bees buzzed throughout the garden Tuesday.

Brand opened his brewery and restaurant July 21 at 10934 S. Western Ave. He initially gave the grain he used to make beer to a farmer in northwest Indiana, but the volume quickly became overwhelming.

The brewery at Open Outcry Brewing Co. in Morgan Park cast aside some 350 pounds of spent grain Tuesday. The waste product was donated to the Edna White Community Garden, which will use it as compost. [DNAinfo/Howard A. Ludwig]

Open Outcry produces about 350 pounds of spent grain twice a week in the beer-making process. And Brand said he was eager to find another way to keep the warm, wet grain out of the landfill.

Figel, a Morgan Park resident, caught wind of Brand's dilemma through social media and offered to help. She plans to mix the spent grain with other items to facilitate the composting process.

Brand offered to continue to provide as much of the spent grain as Figel is willing to accept.

"I have way more than she needs," he said.

Kathy Figel (middle) stands besides two gardeners who help her tend to the Edna White Community Garden in Morgan Park. The garden's compost bins were filled Tuesday with spent grain from Open Outcry Brewing Co. [DNAinfo/Howard A. Ludwig]