Frequently asked questions
What is upcycled barley flour?
The process of upcycling is defined as reusing in such a way as to create a product of higher quality or value than the original. Susgrainable’s upcycled barley flour comes from malted barley from the beer making process. Beer utilizes the sugars from barley, leaving behind the fiber and protein.
Why upcycled flour? What is the benefit?
Susgrainable’s upcycled barley flour is high in fiber, high in plant-based protein, and very low in sugar. By certain standards, our upcycled barley flour is keto friendly. With the amount of sugar in the current North American diet, baking with our flour lowers your overall sugar intake. You will also be consuming much more fiber, something over 95% of North Americans lack in their diets.
While we’ve talked about how it’s better for you, upcycled flour also is beneficial for the planet. Many resources go into growing barley and utilizing it for just its sugar is incredibly wasteful. According to a 2017 analysis, over 650,000kg of spent grain (used to make upcycled barley flour) is produced by craft breweries in Canada. Arguably, we are throwing away the healthiest part of the grain in massive quantities and Susgrainable believes it’s time we stop. We can improve both the health of Canadians and the planet at the same time with this circular business model.
Which breweries do you partner with for your grain supply?
We have had the opportunity to partner with five different local breweries. Faculty Brewing was the first craft brewery that we partnered with for our grains. As we grew, we began to grow the list of breweries we worked with. Dogwood was our second brewery, followed closely by Monkey Nine brewery who helped us out with grain when we were in a pinch. Parkside and R&B breweries are the most recent additions to the list. We love our brewery partners and thank them for their support as we grow our young business.
Is there any alcohol in your products?
Great question. No, there is no alcohol in any of our products. Alcohol in beer comes from the fermentation process, which utilizes the grain’s sugars. We grab our upcycled barley flour well before the fermentation process begins.
Do different beers and/or breweries produce different kinds of flour?
Yes, it is possible to produce a wide variety of flours from different kinds of beer. This is based on the malting process. Currently, Susgrainable sticks to fairly common varieties of malted barley so we get a consistent flour flavor and color. However, keep your eyes peeled. We have been known to release limited runs of darker flours from the occasional stout.
Are your products plant-based?
Most of our products are plant-based. While some of our initial products were made following traditional recipes with eggs and butter, we are continually increasing our plant-based product line. Our breads offered online are all vegan, along with our 2 most popular cookies (the animal lover and the nutty chocolate chip). All or our dry goods contain only plant-based ingredients and we recommend chia or flax “egg” and vegan butter as replacements for egg and butter. Feel free to reach out if you would like a little more guidance.
Are your products gluten free?
Upcycled barley flour is low in gluten and since it has been boiled the gluten structure possibly has been de-natured. We are a young company and have not had the ability to fully research this, although it’s on our to-do list. While many folks who have gluten sensitivities have returned excited that they have no problems with our cookies, our product is not safe for anyone with Celiac disease. We recommend trying a small bite for those with sensitivities and to start small.
We also have ideas for future upcycled product lines that will be gluten free. Make sure to sign up for The Movement to be kept in the loop on those developments.
Do your products contain nuts?
While many of our products do not contain any nuts, some products do such as our vegan cookies. We have decided to avoid using any peanuts in any of our products. While we avoid peanuts, we operate out of a shared kitchen space with companies who produce products with a variety of allergens. As we grow, we will evaluate the possibility of having a line produced in a nut free kitchen.
Where are your products produced?
We produce all our baked goods and mixes in our commissary kitchen in East Vancouver. We are proud to be partnered with Coho Commissary and operate out of their Powell St location. We are happy to share that they have a pristine food safety record and we put health and safety at the forefront for all food we produce. Health is one of our top values as a company!
Why do you add sugar to your products?
This is a great question that we get often asked. Sugar consumption is very misunderstood and with all the information out there we do not want to add to the confusion. Our stance is that a product should be well balanced, meaning it has a good fibre to sugar ratio. Never heard of this ratio before? It can really simplify decision making and label reading. Here is a great resource that explains the rule and benefits of consuming more fibre in your diets. We strive to have our products meet or better this ratio.
We primarily use typical baking recipes and avoid refined white sugar in our baking. Otherwise, we have tried to make our baking more accessible to a wider audience by using familiar ingredients. We do plan to bake with substitutes such as dates and maple syrup in the future. Until we do, feel free to purchase the flour and bake up your own delicious recipes. Feel free to share with us if you do.
How does the delivery work?
While social distancing is in place, we want to make sure our products remain available. We believe in a local food model and will be serving the communities closest to our production facility for the time being. To maintain a sustainable delivery system, we have created five different delivery zones as listed below:
Tuesday – North Vancouver & West Vancouver
Wednesday – Richmond/Delta/Surrey
Thursday – Tri-Cities (Burnaby, New West, Coquitlam)
Friday – Vancouver
Saturday – Squamish
If you reside outside of these zones or would prefer a pick-up option, please send us a message. We’ll do our best to find a way to get you some product if you live nearby.
I love your flour. Do you ever plan on offering larger sizes?
That is our eventual goal. Unfortunately, we currently are not able to produce at a high enough volume to offer larger quantities. Sign up for our newsletter to be notified as soon as this is an option.
I live outside of the current delivery zone. Is there any other way I can get your product?
Currently, our focus is local. We want to support the local food infrastructure and our immediate community. That said, feel free to use our contact form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know exactly what you are interested in. We’ll see if we can make something work. We’ve been known to be pretty creative in finding solutions ;)
Why do you only deliver to each zone once/week?
Sustainability is baked into everything we do at Susgrainable, including our deliveries. At our current capacity, it makes the most sense to have our delivery system structured this way. As we grow, we’ll definitely evaluate different delivery days or feel free to connect us with a retailer in your area that you feel may be a fit. We’d love to make our products more accessible to our customers :)
When is your bread baked for your online deliveries?
We operate much like your standard bakery. All of our artisan loaves are being baked while you are getting your beauty sleep. They are finished baked morning of, so you know you’ll be getting a similar experience to that loaf you pick up at your local bakery. In fact, our delivery vehicle smells like a bakery, haha. The breads are best consumed within 1-2 days of purchase, while our other products last longer… that is, if you let them ;)