Our Brand Story
Food production is the biggest contributor to climate change and biodiversity loss - it’s responsible for 80% of deforestation, 70% of freshwater use and approximately 25% of greenhouse gas emissions. But one third of all food is wasted. We set up Toast Ale to change that.
We brew our planet-saving beer with surplus fresh bread. All our profits go to charities fixing the food system.
The circular economy business model was inspired by a visit to a Belgium brewery. Tristram Stuart, an environmental campaigner, learnt from brewers at the Brussels Beer Project that the beer production originally involved the fermentation of bread. With industrial quantities of fresh bread wasted all over the world (44% of bread is wasted in the UK), here was an opportunity to use the booming craft brewing industry to deliver positive impact.
Tristram and Louisa Ziane, a sustainability adviser, set up Toast Ale in 2015. In 2016 they appointed a founding team - Rob Wilson, a social entrepreneur, and Julie Prebble and David Ryan, both retail experts - and launched the first UK bread beer.
Toast’s approach is two-fold. Firstly we produce great tasting craft beer that directly reduces food waste by using surplus bread as a valuable ingredient. Secondly, we influence wider systemic change by funding charities tackling the underlying drivers of waste, by collaborating with other breweries to create an industry-wide movement and by creating positive conversations to nudge individual behaviour change.
What better way to start a conversation than over a cheeky pint.
Brewing with surplus fresh bread
We have a uniquely collaborative approach, partnering with the bakery industry and other breweries to produce our beers.
We source the heel ends of loaves that aren’t used by the sandwich industry and end of day surplus loaves from large bakeries. We are currently working with EF Bakers in Bognor Regis and have also collaborated with bakeries such as Warburtons. The surplus bread replaces ¼ of the malted barley, providing starches that are broken down to fermentable sugars by malt enzymes. and turned to alcohol during fermentation.
By using surplus bread, we prevent food waste and reduce the environmental impact (land, water and emissions that contribute to climate change) of our beer by using less malt
To scale our impact, we open-source a recipe for home brewers and collaborate with breweries to create beers with unique local stories. We’ve worked with over 50 breweries, including Fourpure, BrewDog, Wiper and True, De Molen and Greene King.
Changing the grain bill across the brewing industry would free land that would otherwise be converted to agriculture, reducing emissions from deforestation. It would also reduce emissions and resource use from cultivating, processing, transporting and malting barley. It would be nothing short of a game-changer.