Beer to drown out food waste

2017-11-28 06:00
Toast Ale

Toast Ale

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Beer with a difference.

The brewers of Toast ale aim to stave off hunger in South Africa through their novel way of producing craft beer.

This particular ale is brewed with bread, but not just any bread. 

According to Toast South Africa, the idea was conceptualised in the United Kingdom, where their already proven strategy sees unused and unsold bread – which would otherwise be thrown away – used in the production of the beer.

All the profits from sales of the local beer will go to Soil for Life in Constantia, an NGO that helps build sustainable food gardens.

The initiative is being driven by Bianca Hansen and Jaen Beelders. 

“In a country where 13m people go without regular meals, 33% food wastage a year by bakeries and bread manufacturers is a tough pill to swallow. Sandwich factories discard the heel and first slice of every loaf and old bread usually gets thrown away because logistically, surplus bread doesn’t always get to those who would benefit from it most. 

That’s where Toast comes in,” says Hansen.

The business has partnered with local bakeries and commercial sandwich factories to take over their surplus and use it to replace a third of the malt in the beer. 

To make sure they create a quality craft beer, they’ve partnered with Devils Peak Brewing Company, having years of production and distribution experience. 

Once Toast ale is on the shelves and starts turning a profit, they’ll donate the profits to Soil for Life to train local unemployed people to grow their own food for their families and communities. 

Besides the tangible change this will bring to the lives of many poor residents, Toast’s marketing efforts will also help raise awareness of problems and solutions related to food waste. 

This concept, developed by British Food Wastage campaigner and social entrepreneur Tristram Stuart, was launched with the support of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver. 

It won a prize for Best New Beverage Concept at last year’s World Food Innovation Awards. Earlier this year it took home a Sustainable Futures award of the Institute of Grocery Distribution. 

Hansen and Beelders already have the support of Knead Bakery, Sandwich Baron, Hudson’s, Yuppie Chef and League of Beers.

They say Toast ale will also need help from the public to make their life-changing ale a reality. 

“By contributing to a Thundafund campaign, you can help raise the funds needed to get their first two batches of ale into production. 

“A R50 contribution will buy you a high five from the team and entry into a lucky draw to win a six-pack of Toast pale ale. For R100 you’ll get a thank you video and be added to the website wall of Toast heroes. For R200 you’ll get a Toast pale ale six-pack, along with a handwritten thank you note. These will make great Christmas gifts and can be delivered at no extra cost,” says Hansen. 

Alternatively, R200 can also buy two artisanal breads from Knead bakery to enjoy along with two Toast ales.

For R400 supporters will be able to enjoy 12 Toast pale ales along with two Toast beer glasses. R500 will buy 18 Toast beers delivered anywhere in South Africa in time for Christmas or New Year’s Eve. 

“Whether you’re male or female, serious beer enthusiasts can look forward to their own special edition League of Beers mix box and a tasting session with the man behind the league, Rob Heyns, in Cape Town or Johannesburg for R1200. You’ll want to snap this one up quickly as there are only five of these rewards available,” she adds. 

Another experience up for grabs is the “Grow to live” curated experience by Soil for Life in which a member of the public can learn to grow his own vegetables, meet the Toast team and get a six-pack to take home for R1500. For an extra R100 the supporter can have 60 Toast pale ales delivered anywhere in South Africa in time for Christmas.

“If you’re more of a social butterfly, you can enjoy an instant party with your very own barman and 60 cold ones for R2000. Step it up and get 200 beers, your own barman and an exclusive pioneer award for R6000,” Hansen says. 

“For R3500 you can literally change a life. This pays for one unemployed South African to get the training he needs to build his own garden and provide food for his family, as well as giving him an opportunity to learn business skills and a platform to sell his surplus produce for an income.”

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