Several microbreweries in suburban Chicago are sharing grain left over from making beer with local farmers instead of throwing it away.

Scorched Earth Brewing in Algonquin takes the grains out of a kettle after brewing and puts them into another container for a farmer who lives near Sycamore to pick up for free. Crystal Lake Brewing puts its leftover wet grains into a 44-gallon garbage can to await pickup from a farmer who lives near Woodstock.

The spent grains can be used to feed farm animals or supplement feed. One farmer who receives the spent grains says she can easily use 3,000 pounds to feed cattle.

The Northwest Heraldreports that about 1,000 pounds of grain is used per batch, but the amount varies depending on the style of beer.

Adam Berry, Getty Images