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Beer made from discarded bread launched

The new beer is called Toast, and the idea behind it is to deal with some of the vast quantities of bread wasted each day and promote the importance of cutting down on wasted food.

Toast ale is made from surplus bread. The bread would have been thrown to waste had it not been used in the brewery process. It is estimated in the U.K. alone some 24 million slices of bread are thrown away each day. Of all the items of food discarded by homes and restaurants, bread comes top.

The process of making the beer involves slicing the bread, mashing it, toasting it and then brewing it with malted barley, hops and yeast. According to the food critic of The Daily Telegraph, the beer has a distinctive taste, with caramel notes balancing out the bitter hops. The product has a malty taste, along the lines of amber ales.

The idea for the ale was that of environmental campaigner and founder of a group called Feedback — Tristram Stuart, who contacted the Hackney Brewery, located in North London.

Speaking with The Guardian about the project, Stuart said: “Tackling the global issue of food waste has taken me all over the world. We hope to eventually put ourselves out of business. The day there’s no waste bread is the day Toast ale can no longer exist.”

Jon Swain from Hackney Brewery enthuses: “We absolutely jumped at the chance to join Feedback’s fight against food waste.”

He added: “The important thing for us, as brewers, was to create a beer that tasted good and stood up against other craft beers. We worked hard to brew a beer that wasn’t just a fad but something that people could enjoy time after time and would have a significant impact.”

Each standard bottle of Toast (330 milliliters) is made from one slice of bread. All profits go to Feedback, for the group to campaign on issues of food waste. The cost is £3 ($5) per bottle.

Over the long term the project hopes it will fold, due to a lack of availability of discarded bread, indicating the campaign has been a success. A laudable idea, but there could be some way to go before this ideal is achieved.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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