Up to 44% of bakery products go to waste, with over 15 million tonnes of bread thrown away per year in the UK alone. Half of that waste is created before it even reaches the end consumer.
At Toast Ale our mission is to collect the surplus fresh bread from bakeries, delis and sandwich factories, and brew it into delicious craft beer. The bread replaces one third of the malt barley required in the brewing process, and 100% of profits are poured back into fixing our broken food system, making Toast the best thing since… well, you know!
We launched out of Hackney, London in January 2016 and have already rescued over one tonne of bread from being wasted. Our beer is also bringing the food waste message to new audiences, highlighting how simple and delicious the solutions can be. We have already expanded to Yorkshire and Bristol in the UK, and have had partnership requests from brewers and changemakers internationally, from Denver, Pittsburgh and LA to Austria and Iceland.
How can we scale the rev-ale-ution around the world? Already, we have open-sourced our unique recipe online for home brewers, and challenged London Amateur Brewers to experiment with their own versions. Next, we want to build a global network of partners producing and distributing local Toast brews, with profits going to community-based food waste projects.
A story born out of collaboration: Tristram Stuart, our founder and life-long food waste campaigner, saw first-hand that bread was the largest problem ingredient within food waste. It has a short shelf-life and is cheaply produced in large quantities beyond demand: during a visit to a sandwich manufacturer in 2008 he saw 13,000 slices of bread being thrown away in a single day. In 2015 he visited the Brussels Beer Project- who themselves brew a waste bread beer called Babylone - and was inspired to create Toast. The Brussels team was keen to collaborate and open-source, and have supported our journey to globalise the idea of bread beer as a tasty solution to bakery waste in the UK and around the world.