Toast Ale gains new listing at The Co-op

Ethical beer brand Toast Ale, which is brewed using surplus fresh bread destined for waste, has gained a listing with The Coop across the capital.

The brand’s Purebread Pale Ale (5% ABV) will be available in 57 Co-op stores in London, which the company said marked a ‘huge’ step in its growth and enabled customers to make more sustainable choices in the craft beer category.

David Ryan, chief ‘breadwinner’ at Toast Ale, said it was delighted with the new listing. “We’re delighted to be stocked in Co-op, bringing a sustainable offering to their craft beer range. We have a very strong customer base in the capital and are excited to offer drinkers more places to find us.”

He added that buyers were increasingly looking to compliment their existing craft beer ranges with sustainable options for ethically minded consumers.

“Toast’s efforts to connect communities, through sustainably brewed craft beer that raises awareness of food waste, will resonate with Co-op customers,” the company added.

The brand, which is already stocked by Tesco Express and Waitrose, was launched in January 2016 by Tristram Stuart, founder of food waste charity Feedback, in collaboration with Hackney Brewery. All profits go towards tackling the issue of food waste and the company has given nearly £15,000 of profits to charity.

The beer was developed using surplus bread, which is made into breadcrumbs and toasted before being brewed with malted barley, hops and yeast. Toast Ale said that around one third of the grain bill came from recovered resources and it has used almost 1 million slices of surplus bread since it was founded.

The Co-op already works with FareShare, the UK’s largest charity fighting hunger and food waste, redistributing around 1,300 tonnes of surplus food – equivalent to 3,085,000 meals – from its depots. It also has its own redistribution programme, Food Share, which is designed to tackle store-level surplus by redistributing to local community groups.

Last year Suffolk brewer Adnams brewed three beers for UK retailer Marks & Spencer using surplus bread leftover from the store’s sandwich production, while cereal giant Kellogg’s and Salford-based brewery Seven Bro7hers teamed up to create a beer made from cornflakes that were either too big, too small or too overcooked to make it through quality control.

A report by the BBC’s Inside the Factory programme found that an estimated 24 million slices of bread are thrown away everyday in Britain.

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