Instead, or the art of “brewed” furniture



Instead is the brand of furniture made from brewery waste founded by Franck GROSSEL. This cabinet maker, designer and beer lover focused on how waste, especially brewery waste, could become genuine raw materials. Franck GROSSEL is a winner at the 2020 Bioeconomy Awards (biobased materials category) held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. He received his award from the minister during the Agriculture Exhibition, proudly representing the Hauts-de-France region.


Franck GROSSEL, founder of Instead

When and how did the Instead story begin?

A cabinet maker and designer keen to protect the environment and, above all, a lover of beer, in 2018 I decided to associate my passion with my know-how by founding Instead.

Instead is high-end and eco-responsible furniture proudly bearing the Made in France label, made from waste grain used in the brewing of beer.

Beer is a relatively simple product: water, malt, yeast and hops. Over 2 billion litres were consumed in France in 2019. In the knowledge that you need an average of 300kg of malt to brew 1,000 litres of beer. I won’t do the calculation but it’s a lot of zeros!

The spent grain (solid residue from transforming dried and germinated cereal grains to produce beer) account for 30% of what you have in your glass, posing a real economic and ecological problem for brewers.

During my final year project at the School of Design in Nantes, I started to think about the potential of upgrading the waste which would be of economic benefit for brewers, good for the planet and an innovation in the home: “brewed” furniture!


What are the milestones and major projects that have accompanied the growth of your company?

On finishing my studies, the only thing I knew was that I wanted to do much more than a simple graduate project. I still had no idea of the scale or impact the project could have.

It was when I met up with ITA Moulding Process, my industrial partner, that it all started to take shape. Over several months, together we developed an alternative solution to the wood fibre they use, with spent brewery grain as a replacement. It also offered many advantages, in economic, aesthetic and also ecological terms. 98% composed of spent grain with daily capacity of over 100 items, our solution is now fully recyclable, VOC-free and zero formaldehyde.

But it is also thanks to the incubator at the Lycée des Métiers d’Art in Saint-Quentin that I had the opportunity to set up in the Hauts-de-France region.

And then it all just fell into place: I joined the incubator at Euratechnologies in Lille, I met up with local operators (breweries, subcontractors, etc.)


How has the Hauts-de-France region supported you?

In addition to promoting incubators like Euratechnologies, the Hauts-de-France region is supporting us for the 2020 Lille Global Design Capital Awards.

We have also benefited from financial support for developing our industrial production facilities.


What are your development plans for the future?

The idea of a production unit seeing the light of day in the Hauts-de-France region, located as close as possible to the breweries.

The unit would be exclusively devoted to producing moulded parts from spent brewery grain.

The ultimate objective is to link production with a bar/restaurant/brewery to act as a showroom for the practical utilisation of our products. Brewed, transformed, consumed and used in a single location, with zero waste…

We will also expand our solution to other potential collaborations in order to access other applications, such as construction, panel design, etc.

Instead is part of the Rev3 third industrial revolution programme being implemented in the Hauts-de-France region. Rev3 is a collective dynamic designed to transform the Hauts-de-France region into one of Europe’s most advanced regions in energy transition and digital technologies.