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Fava beans brewed for eco-friendly beer

An Edinburgh craft brewer has produced a beer made from fava beans, as part of a project to promote new uses for the environmentally-friendly crop.

Barney’s Beer in Edinburgh has produced Tundra IPA using 40% fava (or faba) beans, along with Belgian malt and American hops.

The brew was developed as part of a research project to find new and innovative ways of using the bean. Fava beans, also known as Broad beans, are widely used as an animal feed, particularly for farmed salmon.

They can be sustainably grown, without the need for nitrogen-based fertilisers, and are high in nutrients.

Dr Pete Iannetta, molecular ecologist at the James Hutton Institute’s Ecological Sciences group and leader of the Beans4Feed research project, said: “Pulses such as faba beans are high in starch as well as protein, essential minerals like iron, zinc and magnesium, and are gluten-free. Their consumption helps promote low glycemic index, offsetting diabetes, and can safeguard good cardiovascular function.”

The beans can be used to make beer, and the waste can still provide a vaulable food source for animals or fish, combining two of Scotland’s leading industries: aquaculture and drinks production . Dr. Iannetta comments: “The faba bean starch is converted to alcohol, but the bean protein passes through the brewing process. In this way, the nutritional value of the brewing byproduct – spent grains – as a feed for animals is also improved.”

The beer will be on show at the FestivALE event at Summerhall in Edinburgh this weekend.

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