Here’s why drinking beer means doing something good, like not letting food go to waste
Love beer? Now, what if we told you that by drinking beer you’d be doing a great service to humanity? Like saving tonnes of bread from being wasted. Sounds a bit strange doesn’t it? But that’s exactly what this US start-up is doing – converting waste bread into consumable beer. The startup Toast Ale rescues surplus bread from bakeries and turns it into fresh beer. Started by environmental activist Tristram Stuart, Toast Ale sources beautiful, fresh bread that would otherwise be wasted.
Here’s how it’s done. According to a Reuters report, Toast Ale employees go to bakeries around the town at the end of each day to collect bags of extra bread. This donated extra bread is brought to the brewery where it is torn into crouton-sized pieces so it does not clog up the machines. Bread and grains are mixed with hot water and then once the sugar is extracted the liquid is moved into a smaller tank and that’s where the hops are added, which gives the beer its aroma and taste.
The process is a bit different from the regular brewing process where 100 per cent malted barley is used. Toast Ale uses barley too, but with bread, of course. So, how much bread is being saved from ending in trash with this cool initiative by the start-up? Well, rescuing 50 pounds (that’s more than 20kg) of bread from local bakeries can produce as many as 30 barrels of beer.
With nearly 40 per cent of all food in the US ending up in the landfills every year, it’s a tough challenge for the company to make a difference. The first bottles of Toast Ale in the US were sampled at the Tribeca Film Festival in April during the screening of a documentary produced by Anthony Bourdain on tackling food waste.
The beer will hit stores in the US from July and will cost about the same as a regular can. And the best part? Hundred per cent of the profits that the company will make will be donated to charities that work towards combating food waste. The start-up is yet to turn a profit, but then it’s beer with a cause, so that’s a good place to start as any.
The start-up is also open-sourcing the recipe for Toast Ale beer on their website in a bid to get everyone involved in eliminating bread waste by brewing delicious beer. So, the next time you waste bread, just remember that it is not yet wasted. Though, we probably need to wait a bit longer for someone to come up with the idea here in India.