Food activist Tristram Stuart teamed with London-based Hackney Brewery Cofounder Jon Swain and the Brussels Beer Project to create a beer that would save leftover bread from going to waste. Toast Ale, a well-balanced, full-bodied beer with a toasty malty and caramel finish and the first British beer to be made with surplus bread from bakeries, uses bread in place of grains, which ultimately helps tackle the problem of bread waste in the U.K.
This past weekend, during a screening of the Wasted! The Story of Food Waste at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, Toast Ale made its debut in the U.S. The test batch, which was made from 250 pounds of leftover sandwich bread from Aladdin Bakers in Brooklyn, was brewed at Chelsea Craft Brewery Company in the Bronx. The makers of Toast Ale hope to have a full-scale production up and running at the Chelsea Brewery by July 4 to fill an order from Whole Foods and begin supplying local bars and restaurants with the brew.
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Every effort to fight the massive global food waste problem is important, but turning this potential waste into beer may be the most fun. We’ve seen plenty of examples of this trend in recent years: The Brussels Beer Projects makes beer out of excess bread loaves its collects from local markets; England’s Northern Monk Brewery released a farmhouse ale made from overripe pears and stale pastries; even Mario Batali and Dogfish Head’s Sam Calagione whipped up a delicious brew using unsellable produce from Eataly Chicago. Last year, London-based anti-food waste advocate Tristram Stuart joined in on the fun, launching Toast Ale— beers made from surplus bread. The ongoing project has proven to be so popular in his native UK that he’s brought this unique beer brand to the United States, hoping to fight food waste across the pond as well.