Lille Métropole 2020 World Design Capital

Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed”. The Syndicat des Brasseurs des Hauts-de-France (Syndicate of Brewers of the Hauts-de-France region) has called on designer Franck Grossel to collect brewer’s spent grain and recycle it into, of all things, sustainable furniture ! 

Brewer’s spent grain, or draff, is the solid residue left after the processing of germinated and dried cereal grains (malt). Brewers have always made use of this grain, either as animal feed or through methanisation, or transforming it into biogas (methane) through fermentation. The young designer sees huge potential in this original material, forming the basis for a piece of furniture !

As it dries, the grain fibre becomes very strong. The material is also unique in that it has already been brewed, with its sugar content forming a natural binder. This allows Grossel to use only 2% recyclable glue to create his brewed” furniture. 

I make sustainable furniture because I don’t want to solve a problem by creating new ones. But as long as people are drinking beer, there will be things for me to use!” 

Incubated at EuraTechnologies in Lille since May, the carpenter/designer’s company Instead hopes to start producing spent-grain bar stools in late 2019/​early 2020. But orders – for tables, chairs and stools in particular, are already flooding in. For Franck, things really began to move when he met Vincent Bogaert, the president of the Brasseurs des Hauts-de-France, who wanted to lend his support to this excellent project. 

Based on the results and the success of the brewed” furniture, a manufacturing unit may be set up in the Hauts-de-France region.