Toast Ale - turning left-over bread into lovely beer

Category_RAFT Punks

At Raft we believe in doing the right thing. And doing it yourself if necessary. We look out for people with the same ethic and, when we get a few moments, we ask them to share a few thoughts with us.

Meet Toast Ale. They save bread from being wasted and turn it into delicious beer...

‘What if you could get wasted on waste?’ There’s a punk sentiment if ever there was one. It was one of those conversations that tend to get forgotten after a pint or three. But in this case, Tristram Stuart and Rob Wilson were discussing what Chief Toaster Rob calls ‘a simply genius idea’.
Tristram Stuart (Image (c)Tom Moggach)
Tristram Stuart, who’s been campaigning against food waste for over a decade, had just returned from a trip to Brussels — the home, of course, of hundreds of beers — where he’d come across Babylone, a beer made from bread. Just like the world’s very earliest beers, in fact, made four thousand years ago in the Middle East. And so Toast was born. Its founders call it a ‘pint-sized and truly delicious’ solution to food waste. Did you know that 44% of the bread that’s baked in the UK never gets eaten? Bakeries make too much, we throw away too much, and it goes stale quickly. Even food charities have too much to give away. It’s part of a much bigger problem: millions of tonnes of food are wasted every year, which is a big source of greenhouse gases.

'Throw a better party'

Toast takes left-over bread from sandwich companies — you know, the ends of the bread that no-one wants for their sandwich — and makes it into tasty beer. Drink your crusts, as your Mum probably didn’t quite say. In the two years they’ve been running, they’ve upcycled over three quarters of a million slices of bread into more than a quarter of a million litres of beer.
Image (c)Tom Moggach
Image (c)Tom Moggach
The company’s motto is ‘to change the world, you’ve got to throw a better party than those destroying it’. Unlike many companies, Toast aim one day to put themselves out of business. That’s a pretty punk attitude too. What’s the logic? Well, if there’s no more food waste, then they’ve got no more raw materials and so no more beer. Those days are still pretty far off, but in the meantime, they’ve promised they’ll donate their future profits to the Feedback anti-waste charity. And unlike many other companies, they want you to copy them and try this at home. If you’re a homebrew fan with too much stale bread kicking around, you can give it a go here. Or just kick back with a pint and feel good that your swift one is not going to waste.
Image (c)Tom Moggach

Read more about Toast Ale, buy their beer and find stockists at their website here.


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