Spent Grain Proposal Worries Brewers

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ASHLAND, Ore. — The Food and Drug Administration announced on their website today the will make a new proposal later this summer on brewing by-products.

This, after senator Wyden met with local brewers about the F.D.A. old proposal.

“When caldera moved their brewery to their new location in Ashland, they invested in equipment to help move their spent grain. Now, that could all be for nothing if an FDA proposal goes into effect,” said

Brewers and ranchers sat down at a table to explain to Senator Ron Wyden the impact changes to spent grain would have.

Caldera’s brewery produces about 300 metric tons of the brewing by-product every year, which is kept in a silo, until a truck comes and takes it away for livestock feed.

“If the proposal goes through, we’d have to bypass all of that, put in drying and packaging equipment.  Ultimately it’s a job killer because I wouldn’t be able to buy new tanks with that money that we’d have to invest in drying and packaging, so I wouldn’t be able to hire new people,” said Jim Mills with Caldera Brewing Company.

Senator Wyden said the food and drug administration is proposing the spent grains be taken to a land fill or processed and packed, either option costing Oregon’s brewing industry between eight and eighteen million dollars.

Senator Wyden said the proposal is misguided.

“What does happen, is back there, increasingly, they don’t use the common sense test. They don’t get out and talk to the farmers or the brewers,” said Senator Wyden.

The impact continues to farmers and ranchers who say they depend on the spent grain to keep prices down.

“If this legislation goes through, my feed costs go up, therefore I raise fewer animals and feed fewer people,” said Jeff Day with Hogs Creek Farm.

Senator Wyden said the partnership between one of Oregon’s newest and oldest industries is a win-win and one he will continue to fight for.

Officials with the F.D.A. said on their website’s statement  there was a misunderstanding with their initial proposal, but will issue a revised proposal on possible changes to spent grains later this summer.