A brewery in London is taking a bite out of food waste. Launched last year, Toast makes its beers from surplus fresh bread, including the heel ends of loaves, that would otherwise feed the landfill. Toast combines the bread with malted barley, hops, yeast, and water to craft its lagers, which are sold to raise money for charity. A full 100 percent of its profits, in fact, goes to Feedback, a nonprofit working to end wasted food across the globe.
It is the rare bakery that doesn’t have a ton of leftover bread at the end of the day—more, perhaps, than any food bank can distribute. In fact, as much as one-third of loaves likely head directly from the oven to the landfill.
Although food waste is somewhat of a modern concern, brewing tipple from bread isn’t. Toast uses a recipe based on a formula that hails from 4,000 B.C., when people in Mesopotamia and Egypt made a “divine drink” from bread baked from emmer wheat.
Now, Toast wants to take its show on the road, specifically to New York City, where it hopes to produce an American pale ale by the Fourth of July.
“NYC bakeries are already knocking down our door to bring surplus loaves directly from their ovens to the brewery,” it wrote on its crowdfunding page. “This campaign will guarantee our ability to produce 100 [barrels] of beer in NYC—with that, we’ve got a social business on our hands!”
Cheers to that!