Lonely Planet Writer

London brewery turning city's leftover bread into beer

The story of turning water into wine has been with us from biblical times but an east London brewer has come up with a modern day version of turning bread into beer.

Leftover bread being turned into toast ale in London
Leftover bread being turned into toast ale in London Image by David J / CC BY 2.0

And the owners of Hackney Brewery have done so by using tonnes of bread which is unused in the city each day.

Turning bread into toast ale is something that a London brewer has begun doing as a way of using up the leftovers at delis and bakeries in the city
Turning bread into toast ale is something that a London brewer has begun doing as a way of using up the leftovers at delis and bakeries in the city Image by Martin Garrido / CC BY 2.0

They simply teamed up with charity Feedback to make Taste Ale with the raw ingredients coming from the substantial leftovers in London’s delis and bakeries.

Tristram Stuart, the author and Feedback founder, came up with the idea as he tried to prove that food waste could become something tasty.

The Evening Standard reports that he found a willing partner in brewer Peter Hill who enthusiastically responded when approached by the charity.

Mr Hill said he found the idea very appealing, in particular because the amount of bread going unused ever day sounded like “a terrible waste to us.”

He added that there were 15 million tonnes of edible food being thrown away across Britain every year and his aim was to make a small dent in that mountain.

The brewing process sees starches from the bread getting converted into fermentable sugars, giving rise to a pale ale with hints of oats and caramel.

The production lines have created three batches of beer so far – and the brewer’s verdict is that the beer is tasty. “The reaction has been brilliant,” he confirmed, saying that it now was being lauded on “tweets and things.”

Mr Stuart first became aware of such innovative brewing at the Brussels Beer Project. He said it was heartening to turn a major global problem into a delicious drinkable solution.

Proceeds from the beer go to Feedback and an be bought for £3 online or from a number of stockists.