Is It True Wagyu Cows Are Given Beer? [Myth Busters]
It’s a famous question – are Wagyu cattle given beer to drink?
The answer is it’s a myth. But how has this myth come about, and could there be any truth to it?
A5 Meats are here to look further into the question and to reveal more about the fantastic world of Wagyu beef.
Why Do We Think Wagyu Are Given Beer?
Let’s be honest. We all know that beer has specific ‘side effects.’ It makes the body relax, encourages a lowering of stress levels, and stimulates the appetite.
These are all things that are hugely important to healthy, happy Wagyu. After all, stressed or unhappy animals are neither healthy nor resilient (and certainly don’t make good eating).
Wagyu cattle are famous for their sedentary lifestyle. Stress or strenuous activity burns up the marbled fats that make Wagyu beef such a prized delicacy, so it’s vital for each animal to be as calm and happy as possible. With this in mind, there is a popular myth that the only way these animals can be kept stress free and happy is to drink beer.
Alas, this is not the case. Wagyu cattle receive a carefully crafted diet. The secret feed formula gets passed through the generations as a family heirloom, certainly in Japan (the birthplace of Wagyu beef). Their diet’s exact content remains a closely guarded secret and varies from farm to farm in Japan.
However, we know that most Wagyu feeds have a basis around hay, rice, and grain washed down with cool, clean, fresh water.
Are There Any Exceptions?
Well, there are exceptions to most things. After all, the rumor had to come from somewhere. There may be a small contingent that once tried it, someone found out, and the myth stuck, becoming legend over time. But there is one reason this particularly odd notion could have persisted in the modern day, and that’s something called beer waste.
Beer waste is (you guessed it) leftover product from beer manufacture. It mainly consists of spent grains from the brewing process. It’s high in fiber and is even said to increase milk production in dairy cattle. It’s not just dairy cattle that benefit – pigs, sheep, poultry, and even rabbits enjoy a little top up in their feed from time to time.
In terms of Wagyu, there is a herd in Wales in the UK that receives a couple of pints of beer a day from the local brewery. The farmer himself admits that he likes to occasionally share a pint with his cattle, but this is nowhere near being a validation of a widespread feeding regime. A pint on a small local farm in the rural UK is a long way from feeding buckets of beer to the world’s most expensive and selectively bred Wagyu cattle as a known and accepted practice. It is certainly not commonplace in Japan.
We should also acknowledge that during times of celebration it’s not uncommon to feed cows with a little beer but it’s a far cry from normal.
A5 Meats are passionate about Wagyu beef. It would be our pleasure to share more about this fantastic culinary experience with you. Come along to our website, where you can find a wealth of information, ideas, and of course, our delectable range of the finest Wagyu in the world. We offer carefully prepared meat packs, made to order and shipped fresh from door to door by our speedy delivery partners.