Bread & Bitter
Everyday the UK throws out 20 million slices of bread. If food waste were a country, it would have the third highest carbon footprint behind the USA and China. With COP 26 fast approaching and climate change being at the forefront of our minds, we think it's about time to tackle this problem head on, the only way we know how — by brewing beer!
We decided to brew an English bitter using surplus bread from our good friends at Mossley Organic & Fine Foods. It's an amazing organic and natural foods store in Mossley, with a great beer selection to boot.
Armed with a couple dozen loaves of artisan bread, and some expert advice from Rob Wilson, Chief Toaster at Toast Ale, we set to work on producing our beer. We tore the bread into large crouton sized chunks before leaving it over night to air dry in malt sacks. On brew day, we threw the bags of bread and sandwiched (pun intended) the bread between layers of malt in the mash tun.
We went for a classic English hop combo of East Kent Goldings and Fuggles which provide flavours of honey and spice and grassy and floral notes, respectively.
We're really pleased with the result; the fruity yeast strain we used has added extra complexity and you can really taste a distinct bready note on the finish. The entire batch has been racked into casks, as we think this is the best way to serve a traditional English bitter (Sparkler optional). Keep your eyes peeled to our social media for updates on where it's being tapped!
If you want to have a go at brewing a beer with surplus bread, Toast Ale have a homebrew recipe on their website. It's a great base from which to experiment and see what bread beer creations you can come up with!
Alternatively, why not use that stale loaf in the bread bin and make some delicious croutons or if you're looking for something a bit more decadent, how about a bread & butter pudding? The best thing you can do to reduce food waste is to plan out your meals before the big food shop and double check the cupboards before you leave. Throwing food in the bin isn't just bad for the planet, it's bad for your wallet too. So, watch that waste, save yourself a few bob and spend it on a well deserved pint of bitter. It'll taste all the better for it.
We'd like to say a big thanks to Mossley Organic & Fine foods for it's surplus bread and to Toast Ale, the inspiration for this recipe and an all round great brewery — check out some of it's beers in our store now.
Mark - Thirst Class Ale