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NRAs 2018: Recycled Product of the Year

WINNER: Toast Ale

Toast Ale brews craft beer (a pale ale, session IPA and craft lager), all made from surplus bread. It replaces one-third of the malted barley in its beer with fresh bread that would otherwise go to waste. A slice is used in every bottle.

In the UK, bread is the most wasted household food item, with almost 900,000 tonnes a year being thrown away – around 24 million slices a day. But in the UK nearly 16 billion pints a year of beer are consumed which, if brewed with bread, would use around 800,000 tonnes of waste bread a year.

Toast Ale shows that one solution to food waste is both delicious and pint-sized. It sources excess loaves from bakeries and the unused heel end of loaves from sandwiches makers. This bread is combined with malted barley, water, hops and yeast to create their range of beers.

JUDGES’ COMMENT: “This is disruptive, the business case is superb and it can be replicated elsewhere. It’s all the brilliant things a recycled product should be.”

In 2015, Tristram Stuart, founder of food waste charity Feedback and food waste campaigner, discovered Babylone, a beer brewed by the Brussels Beer Project. Knowing that bread was the largest problem ingredient within food waste, Stuart subsequently founded Toast Ale.

He realised he could launch a great craft beer in the UK that uses waste bread, increases awareness of the issues behind food waste with a new and wider audience of drinkers and home brewers, and generate profits from the sales of beer for Feedback. All of the Toast Ale profits go to food waste charities.

Since launching two years ago, Toast Ale has sold more than 350,000 bottles/ pints in the UK, and it is now brewing beer using surplus bread in New York, Rio, Cape Town and Reykjavik. Its beers are sold nationally in Waitrose, Tesco, Whole Food Market, Sourced Market, Daylesford and independent bars, bottle shops, delis, restaurants and online beer clubs.


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