Cattle ranchers are sharing what they say is a secret to making juicier beef, they are feeding their cows beer by mixing it up with the hay cows eat.
Gene Terry, a cattle rancher in Texas, recently spoke to the media about his technique to make beef juicier. Terry runs the Texas T Kobe ranch in Wallis, Tex. which raises wagyu cattle, the type of cow used to make Kobe-style beef. CBS News reported the rancher said the yeast in beer "helps promote digestion and improves the flavor and texture of the herd's meat."
Terry teamed up with a local brewery, Saint Arnold Brewing Company, to provide its award-winning beer, Endeavour IPA. The company says it follows historic traditions to raise cattle under Kobe tradition, which includes a hormone-free Wagyu breed of cattle, and beer.
(Under Japanese law, Kobe beef can only come from Hyogo prefecture, where it is a registered trademark, while anything else is typically referred to as "Kobe-style").
Terry also told the media his cows prefer the beer-soaked hay over the plain. Serving alcohol to cattle is not a new concept in North America; according to media reports, ranchers in Minnesota and British Columbia are also including beer or wine in their cows' diets.
A brewer in Duluth has expanded into the beef industry, using its grain leftover from the brewing process to feed its cattle. The company opened a brewhouse that serves locally brewed beer and locally sourced steaks.
It was reported in 2010 that some ranchers in British Columbia began feeding their cows wine.
“When the cows first drink the wine, it’s like ‘what is this? But once they have it, they’re happy to have it again. They moo at one another a little more and seem more relaxed. There are a few that lap it up out of the pail. After they’ve had it for a while, when they see us coming with the pitchers, they don’t run, but they come faster than usual,” said Sezmu rancher, Jandince Ravndahl, reported Food Safety News.
Most reports indicated consumers cannot taste the alcohol in the meat, but that there is a difference than the meat from cattle that were not fed alcohol.
What do you think about the method of ranchers feeding cows beer or wine?