Leftover Bread Brewed Into Craft Beer?

Craft beer is finding its way into many streets and cities as part of recreational drinking and apartment buildings. Companies like Growler Chill are even helping private residents keep their beer from going bad quickly with personal countertop taps. Festivals now celebrate craft beer festivals and competitions. In the United Kingdom, nearly 1.1 million tons of bread are wasted on an annual basis, which, if stacked together would equal almost three Empire State buildings!  Toast Ale is a new brewery that is looking to end the bread waste by turning the loaves that would have otherwise gone to waste into delicious craft beers. 

According to How Stuff Works, there is approximately one slice of bread in each and every bottle of beer.   Since their launch in the UK in 2016, Toast Ale brewmasters say that they have used 11 tons of bread that would have otherwise been wasted in landfills. This past July, Toast Ale has made the decision to expand to the US where estimates show that nearly 40% of all food that is processed and packaged eventually finds its way to the trash. By next year, Toast Ale will save about 12 tons of bread per year in New York City alone. Their mission is to prevent all food from being wasted, which will be a difficult process.

The team at Toasted Ale found inspiration after a trip to Belgium, where they discovered a beer made from bread, based on a 7,000 year old practice. The idea of using bread that would otherwise be wasted appealed to the team, and they set forth a plan to put in sustainable environmental practices and social solutions to their new beer-making business. They wanted to make sure to put an entire slice of bread in every bottle and also ensure that their product was top-of-the-line when it came to quality. The brewmasters at Babylone (the beer that they discovered in Belgium) quickly agreed to partner with Toast Ale, and they were not afraid to share their recipe with their new partners. The difference between their recipe and normal beer? The bread that is put into the recipe replaces one-third of the malted barley that is usually used in the brewing process.

Because bread can quickly go stale and flour is relatively cheap, bread is often wasted by grocery stores, manufacturers, and consumers. Because day-old bread does not sell and can easily be replaced by a fresh loaf, much of the bread that is baked goes to waste in landfills. Excess bread may go to chickens or the homeless, but it is often wasted and thrown away.

 

While Toast Ale has a great message in mind, I think it helps remind beer enthusiasts to be mindful of what they eat or buy. While it would be near impossible to stop production and demand of bread, Toast Ale would no longer be in business if people wasted less bread. Would this be effective in truly having people be more conscious about their food wastes?