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We all want a world with less waste. But what about food waste? In this podcast at Switch, Lydia & Ash interview Rob Wilson, founder of Toast Ale – an ethical beer brand that makes a very unsexy problem into a very tasty product.
Toast Ale brews all beer with surplus fresh bread so it’s planet-saving (and palate-pleasing).
Here’s the podcast conversation between Rob and Switch girls, Lydia & Ash.
Food production is the biggest contributor to climate change, and then one-third of food is wasted, they want to change throwing away food that’s good to waste. Did you know 44% of bread is never eaten? This ethical beer brand works with bakeries and sandwich makers to prevent waste.
Now they’re also bringing this model to a higher scale, as Toast Ale also collaborates craft breweries all over the world and open-source a recipe for homebrewers.
The profits if this ethical beer brand goes to charities that are focused on fixing the food waste problems from its core. Their main partner is Feedback, a campaign group working to regenerate nature by transforming our food system.
Toast Ale positive impact
Zero waste beer contributing to a more Circular Economy
Only in the UK, 44% of bread is wasted. Toast Ale uses bakery surplus as a key ingredient in their beer production. The bread replaces 1/3 of the malted barley typically used in brewing. It’s the starch from the grains in the bread (mostly wheat) that eventually becomes alcohol – yeast loves bread!
The first stage of brewing involves creating a ‘mash’ by combining malted barley, and in our case bread, with hot water. The warm water activates enzymes in the barley that break down the starches to fermentable sugars. The sugar-rich liquid known as wort is strained off leaving the carbohydrate and protein-rich spent grain behind.
Toast Ale sends the spent grain to a local farm where it is devoured by animals or used to return nutrients to the soils.
Toast Ale uses steel kegs that, once empty, are collected from pubs, cleaned and reused. The glass bottles are made by Ardagh Group, based just 60 miles from their brewery partner. The recycled glass content is typically 43% with the remainder made up of sand sourced locally and other naturally occurring raw materials. Glass can be recycled endlessly – check out this fun prank – but only 67% is recycled in the UK (74% in Europe). We can all do our bit to improve this.
Now Cheers! Enjoy a cheeky pint, knowing you’re helping people and the planet.