Local Grains and Fruit for Adjunct Use in Craft Breweries

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2020: $26,858.00
Projected End Date: 01/31/2022
Grant Recipient: Doubting Thomas Farms
Region: North Central
State: Minnesota
Project Coordinator:
Noreen Thomas
Doubting Thomas Farms


  • Agronomic: barley, oats, wheat
  • Fruits: apples, berries (other)


  • Crop Production: malting
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, networking

    Proposal summary:

    Adjuncts (added to the beer mash) are used in the craft beer to add flavor, mouth feel, aroma, and clarity.  Adjuncts have endless uses and can be locally grown such as grain that can be flaked, or oats malted, rhubarb, apples, or herbs. The 500 plus breweries in Minnesota require a variety of options of adjuncts. With this grant, we will identify which adjuncts locally have demand and create a collaboration of learning, with a base for the connections being breweries to local farmers.  Most breweries lack business relationships to the area farmers and order from big malting houses which take a huge cut of the profit which the farmers get less share. An adjunct added to one singular batch of beer (breweries can have 12 batches brewing) might require 400 pounds of fruit or malted grains. For small farms and diverse farmers it is great economic viability to sell to a brewery. This grant helps add value to farm products, creates more connections to the land and environment, such as fruit trees and shrubs providing more pollinator habitats and grain like oats providing better crop rotation, along with a stronger rural economy. 

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Identify quantity and quality of grains and fruits to provide in a beer mash. Document varieties.

    Provide a stable method of keeping the grains and fruits ( freezing, drying or juicing)

    Evaluate the taste and consumer acceptance of what sells and what each brewery prefers.

    Share info with other producers and breweries. 

    Evaluate the sizes of grains and fruit used by the breweries ( thickness or thinness of grain flakes, size pieces of fruit or their need to be a slurry)

    Test and track data- set standards for moisture, protein, and fungus. Measure brix to measure fruit sugars.  

    Evaluate pollinator habitat created.


    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.