What is the Meal Deal?
Food waste is a symptom of a broken food system that prioritises profit over feeding people and nurturing nature. Whilst our focus is on reducing food waste, we want to help fix other systemic issues when we can.
COVID-19 has created an unprecedented amount of surplus food due to supply chain disruption, and a more people now need help putting food on the table.
So we're focusing on what we do best to get surplus food to people who need it, using profits from our webshop to fund meals for vulnerable communities. Every beer purchased funds a meal for someone in need.
We're working with our charity partner Feedback to ensure funds are allocated to community groups producing and distributing meals, including The Alchemic Kitchen in Knowsley and The Gleaners Cafe in Walthamstow.
Can I buy beer outside of the UK?
Our core operations are based in London and we sell UK-wide via our webshop and retailers, pubs, bars and restaurants. We do not export our beers for environmental reasons.
We regularly brew collaboration beers with breweries all over the world. Those beers use local sources of surplus bread and support local charities, and are sold within local markets. For example, we have a current collab with De Molen Brewery in The Netherlands and the beer - People & Planet - is sold via PICNIC.
Can I buy beer as a gift from the online shop?
Absolutely! You'll just need to confirm that the recipient is over 18 years old.
Sadly we're not able to add personalised messages into our beer boxes at the moment. We're working on it and hope to be able to offer in the future. However, you can download a PDF postcard that you can add your message to, and send digitally or through the post so they know who to thank.
Choose and download our postcards HERE.
Can I bulk buy cases to different addresses?
Is Toast vegan?
Yes! The bread we use does not contain any animal products, and we use vegan finings to filter and stabilise our beer.
How is bread used in brewing?
We use surplus fresh bread to replace one-third of the malted barley in our grain bill. Bread is packed with carbohydrates, which are broken down to simple sugars by enzymes (Amylase) in the barley. Hops are added for aroma and bitterness, and to help preserve the beer, then yeast converts the sugars to alcohol during fermentation.
We use the heel end of loaves that would usually be discarded by the sandwich industry. We work with large factories like Adelie Foods in the UK. They donate and deliver the bread to us at no cost because it avoids a waste cost and they can have a positive impact – it’s win-win! For our collaborations, we also use surplus bread from local bakeries.
All bread must:
- Be genuine surplus and within life
- Be sliced, dried and crumbed
- Have known ingredients and allergens
- Have no seeds, nuts, fruits or veg. These would affect flavour, and the fats would diminish the head of the beer.
- Be delivered in sealed containers.
- Be fully traceable. Brewers donate spent grain to livestock and we need documentation to prove the bread has been segregated from meat and dairy.
We monitor the amount of bread we have rescued - check out the impact metrics under 'Our Story'.
What types of bread can be used to produce beer?
Most breads will work. Avoid anything oily such as focaccia or anything that contains fruit or other ingredients like olives (unless you want to incorporate into the taste of the beer).
We use fresh sandwich bread because there is so much readily available and the sugars are easily accessible for fermentation. Stale bread is perfectly fine provided it has been stored well, away from strong flavours. However, do not use bread that has signs of mold.
Where is Toast brewed?
We work in partnership with exceptional breweries, using their brewery but under our own license and using our own ingredients and recipes. In the industry, the term 'cuckoo brewery' is often used, though that tends to indicate brewers regularly moving. We contract with a single brewery for long periods.
In the UK, our planet-saving beers are now brewed with Hepworth Brewery in Sussex. We've previously worked with Wold Top Brewery and Hambleton Ales in Yorkshire, and with Hackney Brewery in London. Each time we've moved, it's been to allow us to scale up production.
We work in collaboration with other breweries all over the world, including regular collabs in the US.
Which charities does Toast support?
100% of our profits (or 1% of revenue, whichever is greater) go to charities fixing the food system to magnify our impact.
Our main charity partner is Feedback (www.feedbackglobal.org). Feedback leads a global movement against food waste, working with governments, businesses and civil society to catalyse change in social attitudes and demonstrate innovative solutions to tackle food waste and wider food industry issues. Its campaigns include: Feeding the 5000, Gleaning Network, The Pig Idea, Stop Dumping, and the FSE Network.
We collaborate with breweries all over the world and support local charities with a proportion of revenue from each beer. Check out our collaboration beer posts in the blog for more info on the charity beneficiary of each.
Why is bread wasted?
Bread is a hugely popular staple, but also tops the list of most wasted food items in the UK with up to 44% never eaten. We waste lots in our homes – 24 million slices of bread every day – because we buy too much. But huge amounts are wasted in the supply chain before it even reaches our bread bins.
Sandwich factories discard the loaf heels as it isn't used to make sandwiches. Bakeries overproduce to ensure they can meet demand (which is as unpredictable as the weather). Supermarkets want fully stocked shelves and replace edible bread on a daily basis. Bread's also wasted in by the hospitality industry in the from of uneaten bread baskets, hotel breakfast buffets etc. Unfortunately it’s not as simple as baking less bread. We need to change our expectations for abundant supplies of day-fresh bread.
What can be done to stop food waste?
Food production is the biggest impact that we have on the environment – it uses huge amounts of land, water and energy. But one-third of food is wasted – 1.3 billion tonnes every year.
Food waste accounts for 3.3Gt CO2e (the 3rd top emitter after USA and China), has a blue water footprint of 250 km3 (3 times the volume of Lake Geneva) and a land use footprint of 1.4bn hectares (28% of worlds agricultural land area). In the UK, we waste about 15 million tons of food, with bread being the worst offender. Nearly half (44%) of bread produced in the UK is thrown away. We’re trashing the planet to produce food that no-one eats.
What can we do?
Reduce surplus. We should produce only what we need and eat everything we produce. All our profits go to Feedback to fix the reasons that the doesn’t happen. We also support the Real Bread Campaign’s initiative to tackle overproduction in bakeries.
Redistribute surplus. Food should feed people. Many supermarkets have partnerships with charities who get surplus food to those in need. You can support one of these brilliant organisations here. With bread, there is too much surplus for charities. It’s perishable and bulky, so storage is a problem. But it can be a valuable ingredient in the circular economy – it’s a great replacement for the grains typically used to make beer!
Feed surplus to animals. Instead of importing crops grown for animal feed – often from fragile ecosystems subject to deforestation – food that can’t feed people should feed animals. Spent grain from brewing beer makes great animal feed.
Compost. Replenish the soils with waste food to keep them healthy and fertile. Anaerobic digestion is another option, but it’s inefficient to convert the resources used to produce food into soil and energy.
Food should never go to landfill. Without oxygen, food can take many years to decompose and releases methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
How can I reduce food waste at home?
Whether you're wanting to start a journey to zero waste lifestyle or just make a couple of changes to save a few pennies, there are plenty of things you can do. Here's a few of our favourite ideas:
- Check what you've got before you go shopping. Having a list of the stuff you really need will also speed up your shop and reduce impulse buys.
- Trust your senses when it comes to date labels. "Use by" dates are for food safety, though your nose will tell you if milk has soured. "Best before" dates are just an indicator of quality, but your eyes are a better judge of whether the potatoes are past.
- Store foods properly to keep them fresher for longer. Think of salads like cut flowers, putting their stalks in water in the fridge. Don't keep bread in the fridge though - that's a fast route to staling.
- Preserve foods you're not going to enjoy while fresh. Loads of food can be frozen, from soups and stews to chopped herbs in olive oil for cooking later. Or get down with jams, chutneys and pickles.
- If you have unavoidable food waste like egg shells, tea bags or banana skins, use your compost bin so it can be turned into valuable nutrients for the soil. Food in landfill takes years to break down whilst emitting methane.
There are tons of chefs and bloggers sharing tips on social media. Check them out!
How did Toast start?
The idea behind Toast was sparked in 2015. Toastmaster Tristram Stuart, a campaigner on the environmental and social impacts of food production, met the brewers behind the Brussels Beer Project. They'd used bread in their 'Babylone' beer, a nod to beer's origins of being brewed with bread. With bread wasted at a colossal scale (13,000 slices per day from a single sandwich factory), here was a circular economy solution to reduce waste, engage drinkers and raise funds for charity.
Louisa (currently our COO) and Tristram set up the company, launched the operations and created the brand that is Toast. They appointed the founding team - Rob (initially an adviser, but persuaded to become our CEO!), Julie (our Ops Director), and later David (our Sales Director).
We brewed our first batch with Hackney Brewery using leftover loaves from London bakeries and formally launched in 22 January 2016 (coinciding with featuring on Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty’s Friday Night Feast).
Who has Toast collaborated with?
We have partnered with many amazing brewers and bakers. Here's to all our partners so far. Get in touch if you want to help saving the world by brewing a beer with fresh surplus bread!
|Pale Ale||Bristol||King St Brew House||Real Wrap Co & Hobbs House Bakery||Feedback|
|Bread Pudding||Bristol||Wiper & True||Real Wrap Co||Feedback|
|Pale Ale||Bristol||King St Brew House #2||Real Wrap Co||Feedback|
|Pale Ale||The City, London||Essex St Brewhouse||Flour Station||Feedback|
|Small Batch Brew||Cornwall||St Austell||Eden Project||Feedback|
|Pale Ale||The City, London||Essex St Brewhouse #2||Flour Station & Adelie||Feedback|
|Unnamed||The City, London||Essex St Brewhouse #3||Flour Station||Feedback|
|Brown Toast||The City, London||Essex St Brewhouse #4||Flour Station||Feedback|
|TOAST||Nottinghamshire||Lincoln Green||Veris Bakery||Feedback|
|Toast Wit' Orange||Brighton||Franklins (Optimist Beer Co.)||Bagelman||Feedback|
|Spiced Weiss||The City, London||Essex St Brewhouse #5||Flour Station||Feedback|
|Choc Chip Cooke Dough||The City, London||Essex St Brewhouse #6||Flour Station||Feedback|
|English Amber||The City, London||Essex St Brewhouse #7||Flour Station||Feedback|
|Don't You Baguette About Me||The City, London||Long Arm||Flour Station||Feedback|
|NEIPA||The City, London||Essex St Brewhouse #8||EAT||Feedback|
|Bread Dependence Day / Barack O Breadstick||The City, London||Long Arm #2||Flour Station||Feedback|
|Crust Academy||Herne Hill, LON||Craft Academy||Blackbird Bakery, Dough||Feedback|
|TBC||Bermondsey, LON||Hiver Beers||Today Bread & St John's Bakery||Urban Beekeepers Assoc|
|Henley-on-Toast||Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire||Brakspear's Brewery (Bell St.)||Lawlor's The Bakers||Feedback|
|Melba||Gloucestershire||Stroud Brewery||Hobb's House||Stroud District Food Bank|
|WasteD||Birmingham||Craddocks Brewery||Adelie||Real Junk Food Project - Birmingham|
|WasteD||Birmingham||Craddocks Brewery #2||Adelie||Real Junk Food Project - Birmingham|
|WasteD||Birmingham||Craddocks Brewery #3||Adelie||Real Junk Food Project - Birmingham|
|GFP - Gluten For Punishment||Tottenham, LON||Hale Brewery||Today Bread||Feedback|
|Aran||Hertfordshire||Mad Squirrel Brewery||Adelie||Dacorum Food Bank|
|Coffee Milk Porter||Temple, LON||Essex St Brewery #9||Flour Station||Feedback|
|Toasted Marshmallow Porter||Temple, LON||Essex St Brewery + Framework||Flour Station||no donation!|
|Beans on Toast||Leeds||Nomadic Brewing||Bluebird Bakery & Leeds Bread Coop||Feedback|
|Samsara||Leyton||Nirvana Brewery (TEST BATCH)||Celtic Bakers||n/a|
|WasteD||Birmingham||Craddocks Brewery||Adelie||Real Junk Food Project - Birmingham|
|WasteD||Birmingham||Craddocks Brewery #5||Adelie||RJFP Birmingham|
|Baltic Porter||Various, brewed in Southbourne||Brewhouse & Kitchen||Adelie||Feedback|
|Proven IPA||Herne Hill||The Florence / Greene King||Blackbird Bakery||Feedback|
|Toast and Marmalade||Windsor & Eton||Windsor & Eton Brewery||Celtic Bakers||Plastic Free Windsor|
|28 Days||Oxford||Tap Social Movement||Adelie, Oxford food Bank, Lawlor's & Burger's||Oxford Food Bank|
|Bread Pudding||Bristol||Wiper & True||Hobbs House Bakery||Bristol Jam Plan|
|Flour Power||Gloucs / Clapham||Stroud x Friends of the Earth||Hobbs House Bakery||Friends of the Earth|
|Pebble||Manchester||Beer Nouveau x JZ x Pebble Fest||Manchester Bread Factory||Trussel Food Trust|
|WasteD||Birmingham||Craddocks Brewery #6||Adelie||RJFP Birmingham|
|Voodoo||Melbourne||2 Brothers Brew Co.|
|Jam on Toast||Brussels||Brussels Beer Project||Atelier Groot Eiland||Atelier Groot Eiland|
|WasteD||Birmingham||Craddocks Brewery #7||Adelie||RJFP Birmingham|
|WLS034||London SE17||Orbit x NBS||National Bakery School||Pecan (part of Southwark Food Bank)|
|Elemental||Bermondsey||Tate Modern x Fourpure||Flour Station||Feedback|
|Peach State||Bermondsey||Fourpure||Flour Station||n/a|
|Toast & Marmalde||Windsor||Windsor & Eton||Flour Station||n/a|
|Rise Again||Southampton||Unity Brew Co||Hoxton Bakehouse||Fare Share Southampton|
|WasteD||Birmingham||Craddocks Brewery #8||Adelie||RJFP Birmingham|
|WasteD||Birmingham||Craddocks Brewery #9||Adelie||RJFP Birmingham|
|Amaryello||Cardiff||Zerodegrees||Riverside Sourdough (Cardiff)||Cardiff Food Bank|
|Bread Pudding||Bristol||Wiper & True||Adelie||Bristol Jam Plan|
|Beans on Toast||Leeds||Nomadic Beers||Bluebird Bakery & Leeds Bread Coop||Feedback|
|Jam Sandwich (TBC)||Windsor||World Bread Awards x WEBREW||World Bread Awards||Action Against Hunger|
|Dubbel, Dubbel, Toil and Trouble||London||Brew Dog (Tower Hill)||National Bakery School||Hubbub|
|WasteD||Birmingham||Craddocks Brewery #10||Adelie||RJFP Birmingham|
|People & Planet||Bodegraven, Netherlands||De Molen x Picnic||Fuite Bakkerij||Taste Before You Waste|
|WasteD||Birmingham||Craddocks Brewery #11||Adelie||RJFP Birmingham|
What awards has Toast won?
|Beer & Cider Marketing Awards||2017||Best Innovation|
|British Small Business Awards||2018||Innovator (disruptor) of the year|
|Carlsberg Crafted||2017||Your Beer, Here? winner|
|Edie Sustainability Leaders Awards||2020||SME of the year|
|Escape 100||2019||Top 100 companies to escape to (#2)|
|FoodBev World Food Innovation Awards||2016||Best New Beverage Concept|
|Food Talk awards||2017||It’s All in the Taste Award + People’s Choice Award|
|Footprint Drinks Sustainability Awards||2019||Sustainable Use of Raw Materials|
|Global Good Awards||2018||Best Eco Focussed Sustainable Enterprise|
|Greater London Enterprise Awards||2018||Best Non-Profit Food & Beverage Business 2018
Best Food & Beverage Social Enterprise 2018
Food Waste Reduction Product of the Year: Purebred Pale Ale
|Great Taste Awards||2018||Great Taste ** – Lager
Great Taste ** – Pale Ale
Great Taste * – Session IPA
|Great Taste Awards||2019||Great Taste * – American Pale Ale|
|IGD||2017||Sustainable Futures Award|
|International Beer Challenge||2016||Gold award: Packaging & Design;
Special award: Best Innovative Concept
|International Beer Challenge||2017||Silver Tasting Award: Session IPA|
|International Beer Challenge||2018||Bronze Tasting award: Lager|
|International Beer Challenge||2019||Silver: American Pale Ale|
|National Recycling Awards||2018||Food Waste Initiative
Recycled Product of the Year
|Quality Food Awards||2018||Small Producer Quality Food – Alcoholic Drinks
Bronze: Beer – Golden Ale
|Renewable Energy Association||2019||Sustainability|
|The Drinks Business – Global Masters||2018||Silver: Pale Ale
Bronze: American Pale Ale
Bronze: Session IPA
|Waitrose||2018||Waitrose Best Branded Supplier|
|Waste2Zero||2018||Best recycled/upcycled product|
Are other breweries using bread?
We want to inspire change by getting more breweries to use surplus fresh bread. Here's to all the breweries who have been inspired to brew their own bread beers.
|Brewery||Beer||Date of launch||Description|
|Northern Monk (TRJFP)||Wasted Pear Farmhouse Ale||June 2016||Wasted Pear Farmhouse Ale is a UK collaboration between The Real Junk Food Project and Northern Monk Brew Co (launched June 2016).|
|East End Brewing||Loaf||October 2016||Loaf is a US collaboration between 412 Food Rescue, East End Brewing and Five Points Artisan Bakeshop (launched October 2016).|
|Jaw Brew||Hardtack||March 2017||Hardtack is a Blonde Beer by Jaw Brew and Aulds bakery. The project was set up by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Zero Waste Scotland (launched March 2017).|
|Brooklyn Brewery||Ruggernaut||March 2017||Ruggernaut is a rye bread based ale brewed by Brooklyn Brewery for The Great Northern Food Hall (launched March 2017).|
|Damn Good Food & Beverages||Bread Beer||April 2017||Bread Beer is brewed by Damn Good Food & Beverages AG in Switzerland (launched April 2017).|
|Crumbs Brewing||May 2017||Crumbs Brewing is a small UK brewery based in Reigate (launched May 2017).|
|Atlas Brew Works||Rescue Brew||May 2017||Rescue Brew is a peach Sour Ale. It's a collaboration between Plate of the Union, Atlas Brew Works and MOM's Organic Market (launched May 2017).|
|Instock||Bammetjes Bier||June 2017||Instock is a brewery in the Netherlands brewing a bread beer called Bammetjes Bier (launched June 2017).|
|New Lion Brewery||Barrel Thief||June 2017||Barrel Thief is a barrel-aged beer born out of a collab between New Lion Brewery and Almond Thief Bakery in Dartington, UK (launched June 2017).|
|Weird Beard Brew Co||Bread Banger||August 2017||Bread Banger is a Pale Ale by Weird Beard Brew Co made with loaves donated by The Felix Project (launched August 2017).|
|Canopy Beer Co||Bagel Beer||February 2018||Bagel Beer is a partnership between New York Bakery Co and Canopy Beer Co. (limited edition launched February 2018).|
|Adnams (M&S)||Used Your Loaf x 3 styles||May 2018||Used Your Loaf is a range of three beers born out of a collaboration between Adnams brewery and M&S's sandwich manufacturer Greencore. (launched May 2018).|
|Tiny Rebel (Iceland)||Bread Board||July 2018||Bread Board is a collaboration between the UK supermarket Iceland and brewery Tiny Rebel (launched July 2018).|
|Been a Slice||September 2018||Been a slice is a Canadian collaboration bringing together lots of organisations to tackle bread waste (launched September 2018).|
|1912 Brewing Company||Leaven Life||October 2018||Leaven Life is a collaboration that connects Ermanos Beer & Wine Bar, Barrio Bread and 1912 Brewing Company (launched October 2018).|
|Mt. Begbie Brewery||Our Daily Bread||October 2018||Our Daily Bread is a one-off collaboration between the food recovery program Food Connect and Mt. Begbie Brewery (launched October 2018).|
|Bute Brew Co||Thoroughbread||October 2018||Thoroughbread is a 5.1% ale by Bute Brew Co, funded with support from Zero Waste Scotland (launched October 2018).|
|FREE BEER||October 2018||FREE BEER is a range of beers, some of which are brewed with surplus bread, for The Atlantic Project, by the social enterprise co-operative Billy Ruffian's Brewing Co (launched October 2018).|
|BRØL||Pale Ale||November 2018||BRØL is a Danish nano-brewery with a 4.7% Pale Ale (launched November 2018)|
|Small Block Brewery||Rye Cycled||November 2018||Rye Cycled is a community project by Refresh Cowican, working with by Small Block Brewery (launched November 2018)|
|Henderson Brewing Company||The Ides of November||November 2018||Daily Bread is a Pale Ale by Henderson Brewing Company, using bread from The Drake Commissary to support The Daily Bread Food Bank in Ontario, Canada (launched November 2018)|
|Ajb-Anglo Japanese Brewing Company||December 2018||Ajb-Anglo Japanese Brewing Company and the restaurant L'effervesence launched a beer brewed with local bread surplus in Nozawa Onsen City, Japan (launched December 2018)|
|Branch & Bone Artisan Ales||Pretzel Queen||December 2018||Pretzel Queen is a collab between Branch & Bone Artisan Ales and Smales Pretzel Bakery in Dayton, Ohio (launched December 2018)|
|The Hangry Ducks||December 2018||The Hangry Ducks are another surplus bread beer initiative declaring war on Bread Waste|
|Jacobson (Carlsberg)||Brool||December 2018||https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2019/09/06/Circular-thinking-bread-Bakery-collaborates-with-Carlsberg-to-tackle-food-waste#|
|Modist||No Bagel Waste||January 2019||http://www.citypages.com/restaurants/modist-rise-collab-combines-two-of-the-worlds-best-things-bagels-and-beer/504705551|
|Nya Carnegiebryggeriet (New Carnegie Brewery)||Echo||April 2019||https://www.brewbound.com/news/swedens-fotografiska-launches-beer-made-with-leftover-sourdough-bread|
|Folksbier||Bagel beer||April 2019||https://vinepair.com/booze-news/folksbier-black-seed-bagel-beer/|
|Crust Brewing||Crust||August 2019||C R U S T Brewing is a new brewery soon to open in Singapore. Inspired by our work, they're fully committed to the Rev-Ale-ution through brewing with surplus bread (launching soon)|
|Moa Brewery / Vogels bread||Mixed Grain Toasted Ale||September 2019||https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=12272291|
|Woolworths/Tribe Breweries||Loafer||October 2019||https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/woolies-unusual-plan-to-turn-old-bread-into-beer/video/9169d4393dd15736fa194d0e2140542c & https://www.hit.com.au/story/woolworths-releases-beer-made-of-leftover-bread-140620|
|Gloucester Brewery||Ready Bready Go||December 2019||https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink/gloucester-brewery-unveils-new-beer-3615214|
|University of New Hampshire Brewing Science Lab||Harvest Thyme Brown Ale||October 2019||https://www.fosters.com/news/20191009/new-unh-beer-uses-dining-hall-surplus-bread|
|Wishbone Brewery||River of Worth Brown Ale||November 2019||https://www.keighleynews.co.uk/news/18015064.beer-made-toast-honours-river-worth-volunteers/|
|Magpie Brewery||The Bread Brew'd Project - Bakers Pale Ale||November 2019||https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/nottingham-news/two-nottingham-students-using-beer-3582924|
|Elchanan Bread Bakery||Red Ale||December 2019||https://www.calcalistech.com/ctech/articles/0,7340,L-3776048,00.html|
|Gallicus Brewery||Pain Perdu||December 2019||https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/gallicus-pain-perdu-beer-1.5395313|
|Barn Owl Brewing||Breaking Bread Amber Ale||December 2019||https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-story-273180-1-.htm|
|Binjai Brew||Set B||January 2020||https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/environment/cheers-beer-from-bread-is-zest-the-right-brew|
|The Post Brewing Company||January 2020||https://www.boulderweekly.com/cuisine/bread-for-the-role/|