Categories
Human Effort Materials Your Home

32: Bread into beer

Problem:

44% in bakeries, delicatessens and supermarkets. When it is deemed stale and can’t be sold it is simply thrown away.

Solution:

Turn uneaten, ready-to-be-thrown-into-the-dumpster bread into ‘can-I-please-have-a-pint’ craft beer.


Tristam Stuart, the founder of Feedback based in London, England campaigns against food waste.

In December 2009, he launched a food waste campaign by organising “Feeding the 5000” in London’s Trafalgar Square in which 5,000 people were served free curry, smoothies and fresh groceries from cast off vegetables and other food that otherwise would have been wasted.

Tristam heard about a brewery in Belgium which uses discarded bread to make craft ale. There is nothing new about this process. Kvass (from rye bread) although typically not strongly alcoholic has been around in Russia, Ukraine etc. for at least 5 centuries.

After refining the recipe with Hackney Brewery in London, Stuart then contracted with Hambleton Ales in North Yorkshire to produce it in quantities.

In 2016, Tristam began selling Toast Ale at London restaurants, online and through a growing number of distributors. Using roughly one slice per ½ UK pint (284 ml) bottle, his team of three recycled 3.6 tons (3.3 tonnes) of bread in the first 15 months.

The beer is made when surplus bread is sliced and mashed to make breadcrumbs, then toasted and brewed with malted barley, hops and yeast to make a quality pale ale with a distinctive taste of caramel notes that balance the bitter hops, giving a malty taste similar to amber ales.

All profits go straight to Feedback. Toast Ale subsequently expanded nationally in the UK, and internationally to the USA, South Africa, Brazil, Iceland and Sweden.

It also open-sources a recipe for homebrewers. The company has received global press coverage and won 11 industry awards, while Tristam Stuart was named at the World Economic Forum in Davos as one of 30 leaders to inspire ambition and mobilise action to reduce food loss and waste globally. Cans of Toast Ale bear the slogan “Here’s to Change” and describes the contents as among other terms “tropical” and “zesty”, “planet-saving. ” (toastale.com)

Discover solution 33: the Muzzicycle

Support 366solutions on Patreon and receive the ‘366solutions Insider Newsletter’ with updates on the monthly progress and successes of published solutions.

Leave a comment