Earth Day

Earth Day




Did you know that we use our spent grain to feed a herd of local alpacas? Well, now you do! Hannah and Mike from Penrhallt Alpacas have been using the waste grain to feed their livestock since 2011 when the brewery was based in the Greyhound Pub across the road from their farm.   

Hannah’s family have farmed along the North Gower coast since 1956 with a variety of animals from dairy cattle, beef cattle and sheep. One day Hannah picked up three female alpacas from a breeder in West Wales to help mow the grass and keep them as pets. Fifteen years, a few purchases and a couple of tonnes of spent grain later, Hannah’s pet obsession has enabled her family’s farm to diversify and thrive along with their herd of over 55 alpacas. 

We popped down one bright spring afternoon to meet Hannah, Mike and Harry the dog to find out more about where our waste grain goes. Not only do they farm the wool to make yarn, Hannah also offers alpaca experiences where you can feed and walk one of their boys around the land. 

“Alpacas are an easy animal for me to farm and that was really important to me. I knew that I wanted to keep on farming as my family has been here for over four generations. I didn’t want to do cattle and couldn’t make a living out of sheep so alpacas seemed to be a sensible alternative. The reality is I love alpacas; I love their personalities and I love how gentle they are. I love the fact that I can have a 4 year old or a 90 year old lady leading an alpaca really safely and they are calming. They are gentle animals that are suitable for everybody to meet and to engage with. The yarn that I make from their wool is so soft and not itchy like that we get from sheep. 


“In the society that we are in at the moment sustainability is really important and for me to use every bit of fleece from that alpaca itself in order to make a living and keep the farm going it’s so important to me. 

We are very grateful to have the spent grain from the brewery. It’s a waste product coming from a local brewery, why not use that to feed our animals. It makes perfect sense to me. Initially we used grain to feed our sheep and when we got the alpacas they grazed in the same field together. The herd have developed a real lovely taste for it although they only eat it when it’s warm and fresh - as they’re fussy eaters - otherwise they leave it for the sheep." 

This has got to be one of the best (and maybe cutest?) examples of circular economy. Why waste something when you can use it to help someone else? It’s been a delight to support Hannah, Mike and their herd of alpacas over the last few years. If you’d like to meet these lovely animals, we cannot recommend their alpaca experiences enough. Find out more by visiting their website here. We also stock a range of Hannah’s handmade alpaca yarn products here in our Gower Shop - be sure to drop by and have a browse!

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