Toast Ale, the Hackney-based company, has started trading by selling a pale ale made with waste bread.

Using everything from waste artisan breads to crust ends discarded by sandwich manufacturers, the bread is sliced, toasted and mashed to produce breadcrumbs. The crumbs are then used to replace around 40% of the barley that would be used in a normal brewing process.

The ale is brewed at Hackney Brewery and retails for £3 a bottle from the company’s website. It is also available from other craft beer websites and bricks-and-mortar locations, including The Cock Tavern and artisan bakery E5 Bakehouse. E5 already stocked a first batch of Toast’s ale but has since sold out.

The concept is the brainchild of Tristram Stuart, a campaigner on food waste and founder of food waste charity Feedback, to which all Toast Ale’s profits will go.

Stuart said: “Tackling the global issue of food waste has taken me all over the world. It was at the Brussels Beer Project where I first found out about this innovative brewing process that turns a colossal global problem into a delicious, drinkable solution. We hope to put ourselves out of business. The day there’s no waste bread is the day Toast Ale can no longer exist.”

According to the company, the ale has an amber colour and caramel tasting notes. It will be officially launched on 3 February at a launch party in London but went on sale on 22 January.

Although the pale ale is currently Toast’s only beer, the company said it had exciting plans for the future.
Feedback is an environmental charity, founded in 2009, which works with governments, the public, businesses and other organisations to end food waste at every level of the food system.