According to etymologists, the negative word "drivel" comes from the Old Norse word draf, meaning "malt dregs." That tells us how Norsemen felt about malt dregs, namely, useless and boring material. Little did they know that centuries later in Japan, a company would find a very good use for the stuff.

Kitafuku Inc. has started manufacturing craft beer paper using malt dregs that are normally discarded in the process of brewing craft beer.

According to the press release, this new project is part of Kitafuku's "efforts to realize a society in which it is natural to use environmentally friendly products."

About Craft Beer Paper

Craft Beer Paper is made by mixing malt dregs from the craft beer brewing process into paper pulp. A month's brewing can produce about 2,000 kg of malt dregs, most of which is discarded. The goal of this project is to realize an up-cycling process that turns waste into valuable paper products.

Moreover, since the malt dregs are provided by the Yokohama Beer brewery company, the project has been adopted as a "Yokohama City SDGs biz support" project.

Paper Pal Corporation assisted in producing the paper.

You can still see pieces of malt dregs here and there in the paper, which conveys the presence of malt and the unmistakable connection to the beer brewing process from which it originated. The end result is a craft paper with character. Moreover, since it's resilient and not easily torn, it can be used to make coasters, for example.

Prospects for the future

Now that the research and development phase is complete and the system for mass production is in place, they are shifting to the manufacture and sale of paper products. Sales are scheduled to start in June 2021.

The company is already able to produce coasters, business cards, and shop cards, with the aim of providing these paper products to breweries and restaurant operators where craft beer is served. In the future, they are also considering expanding the sales of postcards and notebooks to the general public.

Kitafuku is looking forward to collaborating with other craft beer breweries to expand this business model and reduce more waste throughout the industry.

A sustainable product

Craft Beer Paper works towards three of the seventeen SDGs (sustainable development goals) set up by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

  • 12. Responsible Consumption and Production: Craft Beer Paper contributes to the creation of a recycling-oriented society since it is made with upcycled waste and can, in turn, be recycled as paper.
  • 13. Climate Action: Craft Beer Paper uses malt dregs instead of incinerating them, thereby reducing breweries' carbon footprint. Also, by using malt dregs instead of trees for paper, forest resources can be protected.
  • 15. Life on Land: Protecting forests means protecting biodiversity.

For more information, visit Kitafuku's website. If you have any questions about product development or products using Craft Beer Paper, contact Kitafuku here.

You can look forward to the near future when you'll be able to buy a notebook made with Craft Beer Paper. And even if you end up writing drivel, at least you'll appreciate being a participant in this worthwhile project.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.