This short features Russ Henry, owner of Giving Tree Gardens Landscaping, and Paul Johnston, professional brewer working at Harriet Brewing Company at the time, talking about making compost from the spent grains generated at the brewery. We see Russ and Paul loading the grains at the brewery, touring the urban farm where Russ makes a variety of composts, and finally talking at the indoor pile.
Russ' story is important for at least 3 reasons. 1) It is representative of the positive economic and ecological impacts of the growing craft beer movement in the Twin Cities and Minnesota. 2) It informs about his innovative methods of "brewing" compost that capture the heat generated by the fermenting pile to allow seedlings to sprout 2 - 4 weeks sooner than the relatively chilly MN spring weather generally provides. 3) It is all done within a 15 mile radius of the brewery and epitomizes the local emphasis of the craft beer movement. This is underscored by Russ' intention to use the high quality compost to feed crops of brewing herbs that will be used to make more beer, closing the cycle and "keeping the nutrients in the neighborhood".
Since this video was shot, Russ' business has grown and he is currently collecting grain husks from multiple breweries in the Twin Cities and using the compost to grow and maintain patio gardens at the breweries, including hops and other brewing herbs. Paul has moved on to become the Head Brewer at Day Block Brewing Company.
These positive influences on the local community and culture will be an element in the feature length documentary that is being made at CDDF Productions because they illustrate that the craft beer movement has relevance beyond beer. It stimulates associated local businesses and helps us keep our dollars in the neighborhood, too.