Toast Ale is making BEER FROM BREAD! Sounds absurd right? But, Toast Ale- a craft beer company has turned beer making into the ultimate sustainable operation with this concept. They are making their beer from surplus bread procured from local bakeries. Read on the learn all about this sustainability champ!
As the world is increasingly becoming aware of global problems like climate change and hunger, a light has been focussed on food waste. Around the world, more than enough food is produced to feed the global population—but more than 690 million people still go hungry. The root cause of being food wastage. Overall one-third of the food we produce goes into waste throughout the food system, during production, processing, retail, and consumption. This is approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food that never finds its way into hungry mouths. When talking about highly perishable foods like bakery products, much of the products made in bakeries go into waste once it crosses its best before and use-by dates. To combat waste, many bakeries give away their surplus to charities or to pen kitchens
Recently, Toast ale a craft beer brewing company has come up with a business plan that makes use of surplus bread from bakeries to make Beer!
Beer from Bread! Sounds funny right? But nevertheless, the idea is a solid one. This is not a novel concept either. Craft brewers have been using bread for making their beers since forever. This concept did not fit into the commercialized beer sector because the use of bread can cause the formation of a sticky slurry, which can damage the equipment.
Diverting bakery surplus to beer
Production in bakeries is always on a safer side, this ensures that there is almost always a surplus of bread available. Toast Ale used this to their advantage. While most bakeries divert their surplus to charities or open kitchens, Toast ale convinced some to give away their surplus to them for beer making. Toast Ale is the UK’s first beer produced with bread. Their venture has raised awareness about food waste among the masses.
About Toast Ale
The unique beer company was founded by Tristam Stuart. Tristam Stuart has always been an advocate for fighting food waste. He’s spent 20 years catalyzing a global movement of food waste activists and entrepreneurs.
Founder Tristram Stuart calls his product the “planet-saving beer,”. And rightly so!
The demand for craft ale has seen a rise lately, and with this so has the craft beer market. Just in the U.S., retail sales now account for more than 24% of the $114.2 billion beer market. Seeing an opening in the market, Mr. Stuart, after learning about brewing beer with bread decided to enter the market.
“It was in 2015 when the guys at Brussels Beer Project explained how they followed an ancient recipe for making beer from bread,” Stuart recalls. “I immediately saw the three key ingredients for Toast: I knew where industrial quantities of day fresh bread were being wasted all over the world; at the same time, the craft brewing movement had become a global super trend, and finally, I had spent the past 20 years catalyzing a global movement of food waste activists and entrepreneurs. Bring all these three phenomena together and you have a delicious pint-sized solution to food waste.”
Since its launch in 2016, Toast Ale has found a sweet spot in the craft beer market. The increased rise in consumer conscience regarding food has also been a factor in the quick acceptance of the product in the market. They have successfully launched a range of beers in the market since.
Beer is normally made from malted grains, usually barley. Since bread is also made from grains, it is a good substitute as input for beer. For making , Toast’s beer from bread one-third of the barley is substituted from bread collected from bakeries and sandwich makers. The bread should not have any seeds and is broken off into 3-inch pieces. Rice husk is added to counter the stickiness of bread due to gluten. It is then mixed with water and remaining ingredients, an important one of them is hops, which gives beer its characteristic taste and aroma. Since bread already has 35-45% moisture the required water for beer is reduced.
The endpoint is a slightly sweeter and refreshing beer.
Toast ale can be used as an ideal example of social entrepreneurship. Putting a dent in food waste is not the only thing they’re doing. Their alternative beer from bread calls for less amount of water and their process produces fewer emissions. By using bread for beer making, they are diverting it from landfills, meaning methane isn’t released into the atmosphere when it decomposes. Toast ale’s brewing process cuts down the usual land and water demands of brewing by a third, and the energy put into creating bread isn’t waste. To date, as per their website, toast Ale has saved almost 20 lakh slices of bread, reduced 42 tons of emissions, and saved 2 lakh liters of water. To top it all off, Toast ale spends all its profits on charity.
Toast ale has donated almost 40 lakhs to charities around the world to combat hunger.
The company has enjoyed a successful journey since they entered the craft beer market. The company has spread its wings internationally with headquarters in London, along with an office in New York, and franchise operations in Iceland, South Africa, and Brazil. These extensions are on track to hit just shy of £1 million revenue. Drinkers have been enjoying the beers so much since they launched in 2016 that they cracked a pretty amazing milestone – they have now brewed with over 1 million slices of surplus bread.
The company founder, Tristram Stuart’s aim is to be brewing with 5 million slices of surplus bread every year.
Learn more about The Bread Beer!
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