Crumbs Brewing

food waste

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!

By in How it all began 0

Crumbing goes up a gear!

While our first trial brew develops into the fantastic beer we know it will be, we turn our focus back to keeping up the supplies of our wonder ingredient, Chalk Hills delicious bloomer loaves.  Now we’re scaling up for a larger brew the volume needed is on the up so we’ve treated ourselves to a shiny new crumbing machine.

Elaine gets to grips with the new crumber

Taking pride of place in the corner of Chalk Hills Bakery it’s small but very powerful, and rather noisy. The peace and quiet of the baker’s working day is definitely interrupted when the brewers are in!

The other slight challenge is that being in a bakery you

I love the smell of crumbs in the morning

are surrounded by temptation. We tend to arrive post the morning bread rush when the bakers themselves have headed off back to bed (I love the idea of baking but I’m not sure I’d be well suited to the rather unsociable hours). But this is when Chalk Hills turn their attention to the naughty stuff – treats of every description are either in production or stacked there begging to be eaten. Ginger bread men, cakes, pastries and some of the largest meringues you’ll ever see – its like Willy Wonka has branched out into the cafe business.  Sorry – I’m getting distracted, back to the deafening roar of the crumber… even that is mildly intoxicating…. the smell of fresh bread crumbs mixed with the rich smell of the malt sacks we are reusing just makes me want a beer. My waistline doesn’t stand a chance.

Even crumbs have to wear a seatbelt

The Food Waste Feel Good Factor

It feels great to be doing something productive with such beautifully crafted bread that would otherwise go unsold. Doing our little bit for the growing problem of food waste in our society is a good thing. The end product won’t only taste good but also do good.

It’s amazing how much bread our monster crumber can get through in a couple of hours. With a spot of sunshine today this particular batch gets to enjoy the fresh spring air while being taken to storage. Nothing but the best treatment for our star ingredient.

Beer that’s better bred! (I really need to start making a note of all these potential tag lines…)