We're proud to brew delicious, planet saving beer. Our award winning range of craft beer uses fresh, surplus bakery bread that would otherwise go to waste and we pour all profits into charities creating a better food system.
Drinkers have been enjoying our beers so much since we launched in 2016 that we recently cracked a pretty amazing milestone – we have now brewed with over 1 million slices of surplus bread. That's a lot of beer, having a pretty awesome impact on the planet.
This is just the start. We’ve proven that the solutions to food waste can be pint-sized and delicious, but we want to do more to create a fairer food system that's also good for the planet. We've got a big ambition: to rescue 1 billion slices of surplus bread. And to get there, we need your help.
We want to extend our community of companions* - brewers, bakers, campaigners and, of course, drinkers. You're all planet savers who understand that simple action can go a long way. And you love beer.
That’s why the next step on the road to 1 billion slices is to give you more ways to fight food waste, one of the simplest (and most delicious) ways of creating positive environmental impact.
Help us launch our core range of craft beers in 330ml cans.
We are raising £35,000. This money will fund the first run of cans and help us launch them with our yet-to-be-revealed bigger and bolder branding. But we can't do it without you.
Why cans? Put simply, we love them. They're becoming more and more popular, with 25% of UK craft beer sales in cans in 2018. They keep the beer tasting great and offer environmental benefits as they're lighter and easier to transport. We're also working on new branding, and cans provide the perfect canvas. It's a winning combination, proving that great-tasting craft beer can fight food waste for a better planet.
So what can you do? Well, it’s simple - pledge for one of the rewards below and join us to show that Craft Beer Can change the world.
* Companion literally means someone you share bread with - com meaning ‘with’ and pan meaning ‘bread’.
Food production is the biggest impact we have on the planet. It is responsible for 80% of deforestation, 70% of fresh water use, 25% of greenhouse gas emissions, and is the single biggest contributor to soil erosion and deforestation. Yet, globally, we waste 1/3rd of all food produced.
Emissions from food waste, if compared to countries, would make it the 3rd biggest emitter of CO2 behind the US and China.
And in the UK, bread is the worst offender. 44% of all bread produced in the UK is never eaten. In our own homes that's 24 million slices of bread being thrown out every day. Huge volumes of bread are also wasted in bakeries and sandwich factories nationwide.
We're on a mission to change this.
We set up Toast to help tackle the environmental damage caused by food production - by reducing waste. As part of our environmental mission, we are constantly striving to have a more positive impact on the planet and packaging is a key consideration - representing up to 55% of a beers impact on the planet.
With an impact that big, we’ve looked at each stage of the life of packaging to compare aluminium cans and glass bottles, and picked our winners.
When thinking about the benefits of different packaging, it’s easy to skip forward to how recyclable the material is. But let’s start at the beginning with how we get the virgin materials.
Aluminium cans start life as the mineral bauxite. Mining bauxite requires heavy mining which destroys habitats, contaminates water supplies and contributes to soil erosion. The process also causes dust to be released, adding to air pollution. After extraction, a lot of energy is required to refine the bauxite, adding to aluminium’s environmental footprint.
Like aluminium, glass is also made from natural resources (silica, sand and limestone) which have to be quarried. Iron, sulfur and carbon is added to make the glass brown. These ingredients are naturally abundant. A significant amount of energy is required to power furnaces to produce glass, but it’s still simpler and less energy-intensive to produce. Aluminium requiring around 15x more energy.
For virgin materials, bottles win.
For both glass and aluminium, it’s important to maximise the amount of recycled content to minimise the demand for virgin materials.
Producing new aluminium cans is incredibly energy intensive. But, making a can out of recycled aluminium requires only 8% of the energy consumed by producing new aluminium. So maximising the recycled content of packaging can have a hugely positive impact.
As circular materials, bottles and cans are both winners if the recycled content is high.
Transportation includes moving empty and filled containers from manufacturer to brewery, brewery to retailer, retailer to customer and drinker to the end of life waste treatment (hopefully reuse or recycling rather than landfill).
All of the packaging is produced relatively locally. Our glass bottles, made by Ardagh Group just 60 miles from our brewery partner. Our canning partner produces the cans in Braunstone (Leicester).
An individual glass 330ml bottle weighs about 200g compared to 11g for 330ml aluminium cans. We are looking at whether we can reduce the weight of our bottles (the lightest known being 135g). But bottles can break and require additional packaging to protect them in transit, adding to their weight. And lighter bottles may be even more prone to breakage.
Cans can be packed in more tightly thanks to the size and shape. According to the Aluminium Association, the space efficiency and reduced packaging weight of cans allows 35% lower emissions than glass bottles on a per ounce basis.
For transportation, cans win.
Energy and resource use for storing beer are also important to consider. As our beer is sterilised, it can be stored at ambient room temperatures and only needs refrigerating before serving.
Significantly, the space efficiency of cans allows more to be stacked onto shelves and fridges, and reduces the energy needed to cool cans before drinking.
For storage, cans win.
Because it’s so energy intensive and environmentally degrading to extract virgin materials, we want to use recycled materials as much as possible.
Glass bottles can be melted down to make new packaging indefinitely, with no loss of quality. Aluminium can also be recycled again and again, without losing its material characteristics. Both are great circular materials.
In the UK, approximately 72% of aluminium cans are recycled and 67.7% of glass is recycled. This varies due to different rules on household recycling across the country, and changes in our behaviour at different times. This variability and other market conditions means that the recycled content of cans and bottles fluctuates
For recycling, both cans and bottles are winners.
We want to give you the most sustainably brewed beer in the packaging that best suits you. We want to give people more ways to fight food waste and do their bit for the planet.
The most environmentally friendly way to enjoy a beer is to bypass packaging completely and drink beer fresh on draught. For packaged beer, aluminium cans and glass bottles both have their positives, and whilst we haven’t yet completed a full lifecycle analysis, cans are edging ahead*.
* Once we have set up operations in cans, we’ll complete a full lifecycle analysis to share
Through our sustainable approach to brewing, we have a positive environmental impact in four key ways:
- By using bread as 1/3rd of the grain bill in the brewing process, we use less malted barley. This means that less land and water is required to grow and malt barley for beer.
- We recover and upcycle the energy and resources that go into producing bread that would otherwise be wasted. This includes the land and water used to grow wheat for flour, the energy used to heat bakery ovens and the fuel used to power distribution vehicles.
- Food in landfill releases methane, a greenhouse gas that is 30 times more potent than carbon dioxide. By preventing surplus bread from going to landfill, we reduce the amount of climate change inducing methane released into the atmosphere.
- We work with one of the UK's most sustainable breweries - Wold Top Brewery in Yorkshire - and take a renewable and circular approach. Energy to power the brewery comes from wind turbines. Fresh water is sourced from a bore hole and used water is filtered by reed beds then returned back to the Yorkshire Wolds. The barley is grown on a neighbouring farm, and the spent grain at the end of the process is sent to a local farm. It's used to feed to animals, displacing virgin crops that are typically imported from regions where the land has been deforested or is intensively farmed. And of course it will eventually become fertiliser to nourish the soils and grow more barley.
And because real systemic change is needed to create a food system that works for people and the planet, we donate 100% of our distributable profits into charities that working on the big challenges. Our main charity partner, Feedback, has raised public awareness of the issues and opportunities surrounding food waste, and has already had big campaign wins such as changes to supermarket 'farm to fork' policies.
Our mission-led approach as a certified B Corp, and our successes to date meant that we recently won the UN Global Goals award for Sustainable Development Goal 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production. It was an achievement that we're hugely proud of.
Tackling over 1 million slices is a pretty good start, but where next?
We've set ourselves a bold challenge to brew with 1 billion slices of surplus bread. It reflects our ambition as a business - to start a global movement and genuinely change society's attitude to wasting food.
We want to reframe public perception of what constitutes "waste" - nothing is waste until it is wasted! There are loads of great ways of using up leftover or surplus food, and we have a pint-sized solution. Our motto is 'to change the world, you have to throw a better party than those destroying it', and what better way to change hearts and minds than over a beer.
We're brewing systemic change in the beer industry by encouraging more and more brewers to use surplus bread. We've collaborated with 25 breweries and influenced many more (including Carlsberg!). We've also open-sourced a recipe for home brewers and are working on ways of making it easier to spread the cheers.
Right now, we want to offer drinkers more ways to have a positive impact on the planet by introducing cans. Join our journey and prove that Craft Beer Can fight food waste.
From a few beers to a food waste feast, we've got a load of exclusive rewards for you to enjoy, including a few things that pop up in a couple of rewards:
- Beer mats - One of the go-to collectable pieces of beer kit, we will creating a limited edition beer mat.
- London celebration party invite - To celebrate the launch of cans, we'll be throwing a massive party in Central London in September - expect free beer, good tunes and a food waste feast.
- T-shirt - Team Toast are absolute suckers for a good quality T-shirt. We'll be designing 100% organic cotton limited edition T-shirts with new branding. T Shirts are available in size from S - XXL, just drop us a note if you'd like a larger size.
- Metal pint glass - branded metallic pint glasses offer a sustainable (and unsmashable) option for parties and festivals.
In order to reduce the carbon emissions caused by transporting our beer, we unfortunately can't post to anyone outside the UK. If you're looking for a Toast Ale fix in your country, keep an eye out for local Toast Ale collaborations.
The cans and merch will be part of the first reveal of our new branding. We're busy working on this at the moment and are looking forward to sharing it with Companions before sending it out into the wild.
We've been working on better communicating our story and ambitions. We have a big vision for the positive environmental change that we can achieve with our community of Companions, and we want our branding to reflect that. We're going brighter and bolder so you can't miss us on the shelf or at the bar.
Pledge for a rewards to be one of the first people on the planet, beyond Team Toast, to see it and get exclusives.
We have a core range of four award-winning beers, currently available in bottles and kegs:
Purebread Pale Ale (5% ABV)
Brewed with Cascade, Chinook and Centennial hops, our signature Pale Ale won two stars at the 2018 Great Taste Awards. The classic Pale Ale is golden with a smooth finish and a hint of caramel and citrus.
Much Kneaded Craft Lager (5% ABV)
Launched on the back of our last Crowdfunder UK campaign, this pilsner style lager also took home two stars at the 2018 Great Taste Awards. It's brewed with Perle, Spalter and Mittelfruh hops for a crisp refreshing, pilsner lager with bags of hop character.
Bloomin' Lovely Session IPA (4.5% ABV)
Another beer as a result of our last Crowdfunder campaign, our session IPA is brewed with Amarillo, Ahtanum and Liberty hops. A lower ABV makes it an easy drinking, perfectly balanced IPA with hop bitterness and fruit aromas that both satisfy and leave room for more. This style was awarded one star at the Great Taste Awards 2018.
Born and Bread American Pale Ale (4.8%)
The most recent addition to the range, our American Pale Ale is brewed with Simcoe, Citra and Ekuanot hops to deliver tropical fruit aromas with a refreshing finish. We've entered the 2019 Great Taste Awards so watch this space!