Crumbs Brewing

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30,000 bottles of beauty…

Wow, Reigate, you are a thirsty lot!

Today we officially brewed our 30,000th bottle of Crumbs!

Packing up bottle 30,000!

Now that may not be a lot compared to the big boys who probably make that much in a few hours but, to us, that is a pretty amazing amount!  To think we didn’t know how to brew, let alone brew with leftover bread less than 7 months ago!

We never imagined we’d have made so much in such a short time and, at the risk of sounding a little cheesy, we couldn’t have done it without you. When I say ‘you’ I mean a few very important groups:

  • Our awesome drinkers. You’ve been so supportive of what we’re up to. We are only selling our beer in quite a small area so there are clearly a few of you that have drunk quite a lot! Just to be clear, we fully support responsible drinking, but please carry on drinking as much as you do, it is nearly Christmas!

  • Our Crumby Crowdfunders. Without you guys our new brews simply wouldn’t exist. Hope you are wearing your t-shirts with pride?! Your feedback has been great and we’re so glad you like the new beers (if you didn’t like them – sorry – unfortunately you’re stuck with them! You could always give them away as Christmas presents).
  • Our local sellers. We never really expected so many local businesses to get behind us, the advice and support has been amazing. If some of you could just pay your invoices a bit quicker that would be even better – I’ll name no names.

If you don’t fall into one or more of those three groups then what have you been up to all these months??  As well as our awesome Amber there are two new brews for you to try – the light and zesty Sourdough Pale and the dark and mysterious Rye Ruby. Keep an eye out for them in our stockists or at a range of local events over the coming weeks.

Our very smart 3-bottle gift packs make unbelievably cool Christmas presents. Let’s face it – we all have those strange relations we struggle every year to buy for. Just imagine the look on their face on Christmas morning when the usual pair of novelty socks or Old Spice gift set has been replaced by three awesome local craft beers. Not just any old beers, but beers made from unsold artisan loaves from your local bakery. Minds will be blown and your share of future inheritances will increase significantly. You’d be mad not to stock up NOW..!

All the best fellow Crumbers, sorry for being a bit slack at writing recently. If we don’t get to put finger to keyboard again before Christmas then have a great one.

Come and say hello at the Reigate Christmas Fayre on Saturday 2nd December (after you’ve watched Santa land by helicopter! How very Reigate…)

By in Crowdfunding, News 0

And the winner is…… the crowd

You could cut the tension with a knife.

There we sat, all looking far smarter than we usually do 364 days a year. Surrounded by 400 of Surrey’s best food producers, retailers and general big wigs. Adria had even cut his beard off as, it had been so long since he washed it, he wasn’t sure what was living in there.

We’d just had the most delicious meal and plenty of wine to wash it down with but now was our moment. Nick Owen, eminent news reader and national treasure, clasped an envelope in his hands.  “Now it’s time for the Surrey Life Food & Drink Award in the Innovation category. The winner is………..”

My life flashed before my eyes. I hadn’t felt such a sense of anticipation since we tasted the first ever brew of Crumbs Amber back in May. Will it taste great, will it not.  Have I been wise to just create 3000 litres of this stuff or will they be sitting around unsold in 10 years time….? Thankfully the answer on that occasion was it tastes great.

Back to the present and the outcome was far less certain. We were up against two great competitors in Briscoes Jelly and Silent Pool Gin. We’ve made it to the final three which is a great achievement in its own right but wouldn’t it be great to scoop the prize after only being around for 3 months!?!

Adria fights back the tears

The golden envelope was torn open.

“…the winner is……………. Silent Pool!”

Bugger.

I never thought I’d ever have to do that “gracious in defeat face” but I think we all pulled it off quite well. At no point did I get the urge to stand up and shout “It’s not quite as good as beer made out of bread though, is it?” at the top of my voice, turn the table over and storm out…..

Well, maybe I did for a fleeting millisecond, but the grown up in me won over. We moved on, drank, the bar dry and jumped in a cab home. I’m sure the phrase “this time next year Rodney…” was uttered quite a few times on that journey.

 

Turning to the crowd

So what should anyone do in such a circumstance of loss and disappointment!? Turn to their friends of course.

Well, in this case, turning to about 200 of our fellow crumby friends and Facebook/ twitter/ insta-tingy supporters for a bit of a knee’s up and the launch of our latest venture into the unknown – our Crowdfunder campaign. It was an excellent night, hosted at the very fine Four Hops craft beer shop in Reigate. Thanks again Martin for letting so many people descend on your shop and let us give them beer for free (each one has promised they will come back and buy plenty from you in future – honest)!

 

Remind me what this crowdfunder is all about again?

As regular readers will have heard us mention on one or two occasions (OK – quite a lot just recently, sorry for that), we are raising money to develop and brew two new beers using two different leftover loaves from Chalk Hills. Specifically, their delicious sourdough and rye loaves.

I won’t go over it all here again but suffice to say you’d be bonkers not to give it a look. For as big or as small a pledge as you can offer you’ll be the first to try our new beers, get your hands on some exclusive goodies and even get an invite to (another) knees up with us in Reigate once the beers have been made (can you see a theme developing here).

At the time of writing we are so close to being one third of the way to our target – we’re so grateful for the support we’ve had so far but there’s still a way to go. As a well known supermarket said – ‘every little helps’. Please help us continue our journey with more lovely brews.

Just in case you missed it the web address is www.crowdfunder.co.uk/crumbs. Did you get that? Go on, CLICK THE LINK!

There is also a pretty spectacular short video for you to watch. I won’t spoil the surprise but suffice to say we are hoping to help overcome our Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards disappointment with a trip to the Oscars next year. The red carpet awaits….

 

By in News 0

A sensational (if not sizzling) Summer!

Hello fellow Crumbers!

I hope you’ve had a good summer? Although last time I wrote I seem to remember we were basking in 30 degree heat,  shame it didn’t quite last!

Life at Crumbs Towers has continued to be hectic, hopefully you’ll have seen some of our recent updates? At the risk of repeating myself I’ll give you a whistle stop tour of all things Crumbly over the last couple of months. Strap in, there’s a lot to say and not long until my fingers start to ache from typing, so pay attention:

 

Brew Two… done

Brew two of our Amber was brewed and bottled mid July.  Thankfully it’s just as good at the first brew, Goddards have done a great job at controlling the consistency and we even managed to avoid head brewer Nigel having a heart attack this time by turning up with frozen crumbs. A few cunning innovations helped the mash drain far more smoothly this time so it was smiles all round – Happy Days!

We also trialled creating a couple of casks from the brew. As they were taken straight from the fermenter before the bottled beer is conditioned and lightly carbonated it created quite a different style of beer – thanks to our friends at Four Hops for putting them on tap. Look out for more from the next brew!

 

Crumbs are Crowdfunding!

Thanks to you, our amazing customers, our Amber continues to fly off the shelves. We think it’s time to add to our range by getting our hands on more of Chalk Hills lovely left overs.  Specifically their beautiful Sourdough and Rye breads.  We need your help with two things:

  1. Tell us what we should make: A simple online poll HERE has a number of ideas for beers we could make with both breads. Have your say (poll will close early September). As I write, the Sourdough New England IPA is winning but it’s close…. every vote counts!
  2. Sign up to hear about our Crowdfunder: As we’re not made of money (and our Crumb Counter, Elaine, has a rather tight grip on the purse strings) we need your support to make more brews. Our cowdfunder will give you the opportunity support us with small donations. In return you’ll be the first get your hands on the new brews when we make them at unbelievably low prices. Sign up HERE and you’ll be first to know when it all starts to happen. If you’ve already signed up – THANK YOU – we really couldn’t carry on doing this without your support!

We’ve also spent the last few weeks creating a Crumbs Crowdfunding video. Keep your eyes peeled for its release.  It contains some acting skills that redefine the profession. As well as inspiring you to support us we firmly believe the phone will be running hot with offers of acting work. Next stop the Oscars…..

 

We’re winners (well, nearly)!

Talking of the Oscars, our last, hugely exciting, update is that we’ve been nominated as finalists at the Surrey Life Food and Drink Awards in the Innovation category!  We’re up against two great competitors in Silent Pool Distillers and Briscoe’s Jellies. Whatever happens at the awards ceremony in late September we’re all winners!  It would obviously be nice to be actual winners though so can I just take this opportunity to say I have looked at the judging panel online and they look like the most beautiful, intelligent people I’ve ever seen. Should you decide to make Crumbs Brewing the overall winners I’m sure you’re names would go down in history as true culinary visionaries…… at least that’s my opinion 😉

Crumbs, it’s all very exciting!

By in Miscellaneous 0

Crumbs – I’ve got a new wife!

As readers of this blog will know, our journey to creating and selling our first brew has been a continual venture into the unknown. That’s exactly the thing that makes it so exciting.

What’s made it even more exciting in recent days is apparently I’ve got a new wife! Result!

‘Rosie and Morgan Arnell of Crumbs..”

Little did Chris Robinson, joint owner of Chalk Hills, know that as well as giving us his leftover bread, he would also be allowing me to marry his wife, Rosie! An unexpected bonus of our little venture!  What can I say? Brewers are clearly more attractive than bakers! (If you haven’t already twigged what I’m rambling on about read the caption under the Surrey Mirror photo)

New marriages aside, we have to say a huge thank you for all the excellent coverage we seem to have got recently across the local area and beyond. You can read Deborah Morris’s story in more detail at the following link. Look out for us in Surrey Downs magazine, Surrey Life, Reigate.uk and a really interesting blog from Look at Brew (far better written than this blog that’s for sure!!)

If you haven’t heard about us yet – where have you been!?!

Rocking all over Reigate

Live on stage “Judy Punch”

As promised we have also continued to make a nuisance of ourselves at local food festivals, events and any party that will have us to be honest!  The most recent of which was the utterly awesome New Music Fest at Reigate Rugby Club. Those of you in attendance not only had the pleasure of sinking a few cool pints of Crumbs Amber but also witnessed the first ever festival appearance of our ‘house band’ Judy Punch. Featuring our very own Crumbs Spreader Adria Tarrida. They sounded great and, more importantly, retained their position as number one drinkers of our beer – current estimates suggest over 70% of consumption is down to

Elaine (the ex-wife) working hard at New Music Fest

these four men alone. Blooming good work chaps.

If international stardom awaits I hope they remember the small Reigate beer that fuelled their talents…!

It’s at this point I should also say a huge thank you to to the Economic Prosperity Team at Reigate & Banstead Council (catchy title I know). Particularly Cllr Humphreys, Simon Bland and Catherine McDermott. Their business support grant has enabled us to fund getting out to most of the festivals we’ll be popping up at over the coming months. It’s a great resource that I encourage all small businesses in the area to take up. Blimey – if they gave us support when our business plan consisted of one wing and three prayers they are obviously very keen for local ventures to succeed!

Next up is the Priory Farm Strawberry Fair on 24th and 25th June. Come and get a free taster then stock up with Crumbs (and lots of other lovely goodies) at their shop.

I remember when weekends just used to involve reading the papers and taking the kids swimming. We now seem to spend most of them standing in a field drinking! It’s a tough job but someone has to do it.

Going International

Our final update is that we’ve officially gone international. Well that’s a lie really – more like inter-county. As well as our lovely customers in Reigate, Dorking and Oxted we can now boast a new sales outlet – all the way away in Hampshire!!  Where next I hear you cry!? Australia!?  No, in all seriousness we are very pleased to welcome Auriol Wines as an official Crumbs seller. Intrigued after meeting us at the Fleet Food Festival they kindly agreed to peddle our wares. So all you thirsty people down in the Hartley Witney area get along and make sure he sells out as quickly as everyone else seems to have done.

Until next time crumby friends – it’s currently pushing 30 degrees so by law I have to stop writing and refresh myself with a cool bottle of Crumbs Amber. I suggest you do the same.

 

By in News, Our first brew 0

Selling like hot cakes – or should that be hot bread…?

Well it’s been a rather busy couple of weeks.  After the euphoria of actually getting our first ever brew into a bottle, it quite quickly hit home that we now (quite literally) had our very own beer mountain. We ought to get out there and try and sell it!

The first pallets to arrive at the bakery – do we really HAVE to sell it??

Although it was highly tempting to just throw the party to end all parties we buckled down and hit the road, touting our wares to anyone that would listen….. and thankfully plenty of people have been happy to hear what we’ve got to say!

The beer that sneaked into a wine tasting

Special mention has to go to our friends at The Vineking. The brew had only been in bottles a few days and they happily invited us along to the summer tasting event at St Mary’s Church Hall in Reigate. We were the only beer at what was really a wine tasting (a bit like turning up to a party and you’re the only one in fancy dress) but the feedback was great. It may have had something to do with the fact that most of the participants had tasted around 150 of Erik’s extremely good wines prior to reaching our table but we’ll take all the feedback we can. Some lucky Reigate residents walked away with the first ever cases of Crumbs Amber Lager off the line. I hope they save a few bottles – they’ll be worth millions on eBay in 50 years. OK –

Crumbs – what’s that handsome looking product on the shelf??

maybe not, but we can dream!  As well as selling out pretty quickly at the West Rd shop (I told you we were selling like hot cakes). The Vineking team have now been kind/ stupid enough to invite us back to a Beer vs Gin tasting event on Friday 2nd June at Old Reigatians Rugby Club. Come along if you’ve read this blog in time and support #teambeer. Get your tickets from this link.

We were perfectly timed to hit the shelves of the newly opened Four Hops. It was an honour to be amongst the first brews in the shop and we wish Martin and the team every success in the future. It’s great to see our local brand alongside some of the best craft beers out there and support another new local business trying to bring independent artisan products to the town.  The main problem we’ve had so far is that every trip in to drop off stock at the shop results in us walking out with more beer than we went in with…!

We’re glad to say it hasn’t stopped there so, just to blow our own trumpet, at the time of writing, you can currently buy the delicious Crumbs Amber Lager in:

The Vineking: Church St & West Rd Shops, Reigate

Four Hops : West St, Reigate

Hop Stop : Station Rd, Oxted

Cobbetts : West St, Dorking

More discussions underway with other outlets so keep checking our web page. Obviously if you go in to any of the fine establishments above and we’re sold out please feel free to demand the manager contact us and re-list us immediately!

Roll up, roll up, come and have a taste!

On top of that we will be out at a variety of food festivals over the summer. Our first experience came last weekend at the Fleet Food Festival where our 3 bottle gift packs sold out by mid afternoon. Check out the events page on our website to see where we’ll be – new events are being added every week.  You’ll be sick of the sight of us by Autumn!

In addition to these outlets and events we are also setting up ways you can buy from us direct online.  Its proving slightly trickier than we imagined (two experiences with different couriers have resulted in product mysteriously being ‘damaged and undeliverable’ despite being in purpose made packaging… highly suspicious). But we are happy to take direct orders via email at the moment for cases of 12 (£36) or our lovely 3 bottle gift packs (£10) – they’ll make an excellent Father’s Day gift!

Just drop an email to hello@crumbsbrewing.co.uk and we will deliver free within 10 miles of Reigate.

Phew – that’s all for now, better get back to pestering people to sell our beer…..

 

By in Our first brew 2

Finally, it’s here! And its better than a date with Jet

I’m glad to say I have finally lived out a childhood fantasy! No, not going on a date with Jet from Gladiators. Better than that, I got to venture through the round window on Playschool into my very own “today we’re going to learn how beer is bottled” episode.

It was awesome – although I’m still open to the date with Jet should the opportunity arise – it’s OK with Elaine as she’s on my laminated card.

Sorry to those of you that are either much younger than me, much older than me or didn’t grow up in this country. This blog post won’t have made a blind bit of sense so far. Although, let’s face it, they rarely do so at least I’m proving true to form.

Anyway, back to the beer!  It was an exciting day at Goddards as Crumbs Brew #001 finally got to flow through their bright, shiny (and rather expensive) new bottling line. When I say bright and shiny I’m not exaggerating. It’s pretty much fresh out of the box and has more gizmos and gadgets than you can shake a stick at.

I’m glad chief bottler Marc had read the instruction manual as the control panel alone looked like it could have landed a small space ship on Mars.  As it purred into life the button was pressed on the creation of the first ever bottle of Crumbs. With hindsight, we should have better marked the moment, but I’m not sure Marc would have fancied a smashed bottle of champagne over his new machine. Maybe one day when Crumbs has become one of the most desirable bread based beers in the world* there will be a small plaque on the brewery wall to mark the date, time and the pioneers present.

The childish grins on our faces grew and grew as the first bottle made steady progress through each stage. First the label, then into the closed chamber to be cleaned and emptied of beer ruining fresh air with a pump of CO2. Next, attached to a line of silver udders (not the best analogy I know but you get the drift) where the delicious amber lager filled the bottle with 500mls of pure pleasure. Finally stamped closed with a shiny cap and passed on to the packaging line where it was wrapped in cases of 12, ready to spread joy around the Reigate area (and beyond)!

The machine’s erm… udders filling in our swanky bottles with the amber nectar

It was my honour to crack open the first case off the line. I might get into trouble if I say this was the proudest moment of my life. I have fathered two children after all and getting married was pretty good too. So maybe it comes in at number 4. Definitely ahead of the time I won a silver medal at the county spots day for throwing a cricket ball. God is that the only other proud achievement I can dredge up from my life so far?? I need to get out more.

You cannot really fake this reaction after a first sip…

Some of the first bottles with their venerable ancestors: delicious Golden Bloomers from Chalk Hills Bakery!

Posing again for the camera, this time in front of the distinctive casks of our friends at Goddards Brewery

So the taste!?!?! 

Thankfully as spot on, indeed even more spot on, as our first test batch. We made a few tweaks to the final recipe which has caused a few sleepless nights given we had 3000 litres of the stuff whether we liked it or not. So, I am VERY glad to say it’s delivered in every sense.

“When can I get my hands on it?” I hear you scream!? We’ll I’m glad to say NOW!

Either drop us an email at hello@crumbsbrewing.co.uk and we can arrange a direct delivery to locals at a very competitive, direct from the brewer price.

Very shortly we will also be available at several local shops, so keep your eyes peeled. Our very good friends the Vineking and the new kids on the block Four Hops will be pedalling our wares with any luck!

Also, look out for us popping up at several events in the coming months. More details on this website as confirmed.

Before that, I’m just off to triple check this first batch tastes as good as the first did……

 

*from Reigate and called Crumbs

 

By in Our first brew 0

Crumbs! We’ve got a new look…

As you may have read in previous posts, we embarked on a bit of a make-over of the Crumbs brand with the team at Fourleaf Design a few weeks back.

That’s not to say we didn’t like our old logo (designed by our extremely talented friend Hannah) but it was time to give Crumbs a bit of a striking new look. Something that would stand out on an ever more crowded shelf of craft beers. Also, something that we could use as we explore new products. Today beautiful beer made with leftover artisan bread, tomorrow, who knows, Gin made with left over vegetables???  Maybe not – but you get my drift!

We want to be known for making use of things that would otherwise go to waste and there’s plenty of waste about, unfortunately.

Anyway, our new design!

……

……

Drumroll….

……

……

 

Fanfare…..

Crumbs Amber Lager in its nice new threads..

What do you think?!  Oh yeah, sorry I forgot, this blog post writing is a rather one way medium isn’t it?  I’ll take the silence to mean you all love it!

We are very excited and can’t wait to see it in the flesh on a real bottle.

The nice “C” logo was inspired by the idea of order and chaos – brewing being a rather ordered world with a lot of rules and Crumbs blundering into it in a slightly chaotic way….hopefully with good results!

It will also get us noticed at upcoming festivals and events in and around Reigate – we will be the ones with a large “C” on our shirts and aprons, keep your eyes peeled.

 

The search for a tag line

The other good news to report is that, with your help, we have also settled on a new tag line. The world of baking and brewing is awash with catchy lines. Our friends at Toast Ale snapped up the very good “the best thing since…” line, so we needed something equally as good to accompany our new look.

After extensive voting on Twitter and Facebook – and numerous brilliant suggestions from our lovely followers (a large proportion of which seemed to come from one particular follower down under whose quality of idea seemed inversely proportional to the amount of beer he seemed to be consuming while brainstorming) – we landed on a winner.

The line that will be included on our first run of bottles is:

“Crumbs brewing …… bread differently”

We love it – it works on so many levels, you can’t beat a good pun!

Special mention must also go to the many suggestions relating to “using our loaf”.  As a result, rather than talking about our business as  ‘Established in xxxx’, we will use:

“Crumbs Brewing, using our loaf since 2017”

Great work everyone – who needs to waste money on overpaid marketing consultants to come up with this stuff!? Look out for the new artwork on our blog and social media pages (once we remember how to change them!?!)

 

PS – bottling the first brew tomorrow! It’s so close now we can almost smell it……

 

By in Music 0

Beer and Music. Is there a better combination?

Well, we’re quite biased on that one…

On one hand, all of us at Crumbs Beer are ready to pay extortionate amounts (plus booking fees) to see our favourite bands. Some of us even delight (or annoy, depending on who you ask) anybody with enough patience with our (somewhat dubious) musical skills.

And on the bass guitar, trying to look as he knows what he’s doing, our Crumbs Spreader, Adrià Tarrida! *crowd roars*

And on the other hand, we’re starting a brewery, so I guess our credentials as beer lovers are more than covered!

Music and beer, a match made in heaven. In the case of the photo, quite literally!

My intention was to write a blog post about the history of how the harmonious airwaves and the beverage came to be such great bedfellows, but it’s been done before, and quite well by the way, so I’m not going to risk any litigation for plagiarism and will just leave you a link: Beer Wrote This Song: A Brief History of a Match Made in Heaven.

Instead, I’m going to take the opportunity now that I have your attention (hopefully) to talk about the great, local, not-for-profit organisation New Music Nights.  They provide a much needed platform for original music in Reigate. Trust me on this, I have been to a few of their events and the talent is unbelievable! Ironically, the time my band played in one of their monthly events, it was only covers. Ooops.

 

New Music Fest on the 17th and 18th of July in the Reigate Rugby Club. Come on, you know you want to! Click on the image!

Anyway, I digress… The point I want to make is that we have been in talks with them and they’ve been kind enough to let us be their beer sponsor for the upcoming New Music Fest (even before they’ve had the chance to taste it!). The festival is on the 17th and 18th of June. So if you want the opportunity to listen to some of the best local talent while drinking some of our (hopefully) awesome Crumbs Amber Lager, the New Music Fest is your chance to do so (edit 11/06 – it IS awesome). And for being a current (or future) Crumbs drinker, you can get a 5% discount off the early bird tickets by using the code: NMFCB1.

Get your tickets here: http://www.newmusicnights.co.uk/index.cfm?task=newmusicfest

By in Our first brew 0

Crumbs! It’s brew 001

Today was a day of firsts

The first time our resident Spanish Crumbs Spreader, Adria, visited the Isle of Wight.

Crossing the Solent in the sunshine

It may not be as warm as Barcelona just yet, but there are few more beautiful places on earth than the Island when the sun is shining. If you believe my Father, the sun always shines on the Isle of Wight. I can tell you for a fact that’s not true – it almost always rains when I visit. So much so that Elaine and I have been branded the rain doctors by my Island based family. Many a summer has descended from pavement cracking heat to freezing rain and gales on our arrival. So it was a refreshing change to enjoy the short ferry ride from Portsmouth to Fishbourne, laden down with a number of large sacks of bread crumbs, in glorious sunshine…..

The first time in a long time I’ve set my alarm for 4am.

Far too early to be out of bed

I’d definitely rather have avoided this first. The whole reason I wanted to get into brewing and not baking was the unsociable hours bakers have to deal with. So it was a bit of a shock when our partners at Goddards Brewery announced we’d be starting the brew at 5am. Isn’t brewing all about long leisurely lie-ins, a spot of brewing and tinkering during the day and then an afternoon and evening of product sampling? I’m not sure this is what I signed up for?

Anyway – any discomfort of the early hour was soon forgotten as we embarked on the most important first of them all…..

THE FIRST EVER full scale brew of Crumbs Amber Lager! Exciting indeed! Exciting and a little nerve wracking. This was the first time we had ever brewed our rather unconventional beer using full scale kit. If you’ve been following our journey you’ll know we’ve been pretty thorough with our homework and recipe development but this was a true journey into the unknown. Something that quickly came home to Goddards Head Brewer,Nigel, when we realised our lovely cold stored bread crumbs were going to have a significant impact on the overall temperature of the initial mash.  His skill and experience (combined with a little bit of luck) came through though and we successfully settled our first mash at a perfect 65.5 degrees. Phew – any lower and we would have had a very expensive failure on on our hands.

Nigel’s smile (left) once we realised the process was actually working!

 

Nursing the rather unusual mash

Sampling the wort

From then on it all went remarkably smoothly. The separation of the sweet wort that contains the sugars that will eventually ferment into our Amber Lager was excruciatingly slow (the bread crumbs create a far denser mash for the liquid to drain through versus a normal grain only brew) but the resulting gravity (a test to ultimately determine how much alcohol will be in the final fermented beer) was spot on.  Cue picture of me looking at a glass of the wort like I have any idea what I’m actually doing…!

 

The intoxicating Progress hops were next into the mix as the wort boiled in the copper. Opening up the lid to pour in the hops into the steaming liquid was an interesting experience – a warning from Nigel not to be tempted to have a sniff of the mix was well heeded. As he put it, “it’ll be the last thing you ever smell if you do!”

Eventually it was time for the brew to make its final journey of the day into the fermentation vessel where the yeast will do its job to create our fabulous beer.  Time to hang up our overalls and sample a few of the excellent beers Goddards already make (well we wouldn’t let any old team brew our first ever batch of Crumbs would we)!

Not long to wait now….. please form an orderly queue…!

By in Food waste 0

44% of bread produced in the UK goes to waste. Oh Crumbs!

Taking over the blog today, it’s the Crumb Spreader, Adrià Tarrida.

I’ve always thought that companies should do, first of all, good. Making money is just the way they can ensure they’ll be doing good for longer! That’s why, when my mate and Chief Crumber Morgan told me about his idea of doing beer out of bread that otherwise would go to waste, I didn’t think twice before asking him to (please, please!) let me be on board.

It was one of those incredibly serendipitous moments: I had just joined Loveworks, a local charity in Reigate that, amongst many other things, runs food banks in the area, both from donations and recovered food from local supermarkets. We are also trying to secure the lease of the café space in the new Community Hub in Merstham to run a, erm, Community Café from there, partnering up with another great charity, MCFT, and some local friends. If you’re curious about this, you can find out more on the website (and while you’re at it, like the Facebook page and follow us on Twitter).

The recipe for a food recovery café!

And it was only doing my homework for the Community Cafe project, that I realised of the scale of the food waste issue. 15 million tonnes of food every year just in the UK! And bread is the worst offender, with nearly half (44%) of the bread produced in the UK going to waste at some point of the supply chain. Horrendous!

That’s why I feel so good about making beer out of bread. We can turn some of that lovely crafted product (ours is from the amazing Chalk Hills Bakery in Reigate) into one of my favourite beverages while helping reduce food waste. Win!

Some gorgeous bread from Chalk Hills Bakery. Quick, let’s drink it before it goes to waste!

So, as soon as our first Amber Lager batch has fermented (not long to go!) you’ll be able to do your bit to help with food waste. Isn’t that awesome?

PS: and wouldn’t also be awesome to support Loveworks and the Community Café project as well? Come on, you know you want to!