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Warburtons turns old crumpets into beer

British baked goods behemoth Warburtons is brewing beer with stale crumpets in partnership with sustainable brand Toast Ale.

Jonathan Warburton, whose bakery business posted a £13.5 million loss last year as a result of falling wrapped bread sales and restructuring costs, has turned his attention to beer instead and partnered with sustainable brewer Toast Ale to create an IPA made with leftover crumpets.

It is the first non-baked product in Warburtons’ over 140 year history.

The beer, described as a “light session IPA” with 4.2% ABV, is made by replacing the malted barley in the beer with crumpets leftover in Warburtons’ production, extracting starches and sugars and breaking them down into fermentable sugars.

The beers are being released as limited editions for now, but a statement from the baker said the range could be rolled out permanently “dependent on consumer demand.”

Darren Littler, head of product innovation at Warburtons, said: “Not only are we proud that Crumpet Beer is our first non-baked product we’ve ever launched, there’s nothing ‘butter’ than this cold brew teamed with a plate of warm crumpets!”

James King, marketing and brand manager at Toast Ale, said: “We couldn’t be more excited to venture into the world of crumpets. As a British staple, they bring something hole-y different than our bread brewed beer, with a unique taste. We will continue to toast change and hope everyone loves this new Crumpet Beer as much as we’ve loved brewing and tasting it!”

Warburtons X Toast Ale Crumpet Beer is available to purchase on the Toast Ale website for £28 for 12x 300ml bottles.

All of Toast Ale’s beers are brewed with surplus fresh bread from bakeries, delis and other sandwich makers.

The brand, which is stocked in the Co Op, 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.

In the UK, Toast contracts its brewing out to World Top Brewery in Yorkshire, touted as one of the most sustainable in the UK. Internationally, Toast Ale works with local breweries rather than exporting to ensure the beers are as fresh as they can be for each consumer market.

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