Guest post: Just another phone call

31st August 2016

Guest post: Just another phone call

This is a guest post by Martin Saunders, Commercial director of Wiper and True about our latest collaboration beer – Bread Pudding. All Toast Ale’s profit from the sale of this beer will go to Feedback.

Picking up the phone is one of those things that we all do instinctively often without thinking about the possibilities that might occur. Often it’s someone you know, occasionally it’s someone you’d rather not speak to.  And then there are those times when the person talking is half way through their first sentence and you know that whatever else the day brings, it’s going to be a good day. That’s how I felt when Julie called from Toast Ale to see if we would be interested in brewing a batch of Toast Ale for the Bristol area.

Along with a few others, I’d seen the TV coverage of the first brew on Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast and we’d chatted about what a great idea Toast Ale was. But that was as far we got, the conversation just gathered cobwebs until that phone call.

The brew team has become very suspicious when I venture downstairs with smile on my face and a bounce in my step – that usually means I’m after something. So I was enjoying their suspicious looks as I approached knowing I was about to talk to them about something that was going to really excite them. Sure enough, frowns eased, eyebrows raised and mouths widened into smiles.

Bristol seems to be developing a great reputation for food and drink; assisted in part by the number of great brewers we are lucky to share the city with. It also has a fierce sense of independence and a deep environmental bias – as shown by being the 2015 European Green Capital and being perhaps the only city to riot against a major supermarket. Given all of these things and our love of a brewing challenge, the idea of making a beer using surplus bread to help reduce food waste was one that we relished.

Inspired by the idea that Bread Pudding also often used leftover bread, we decided that this was the flavour profile we wanted to create. We replaced a fifth of the malt we would normally use with surplus bread from a local sandwich manufacturer – the equivalent to one slice of bread that would otherwise have been wasted in every bottle of beer. We used brandy-soaked currants infused with Bourbon vanilla and cinnamon along with lactose – the sugar from cows milk – to create a rich, sweet and velvety Amber Ale evocative of a traditional bread pudding.

We’ve launched this beer – Bread Pudding – as part of our activities for Bristol Beer Week, where along with pouring it at several events, we hosted a home brewers lunch to share our learnings. We have also released our Bread Pudding recipe for other people to try – download the recipe here. Hopefully what comes across in all this is that we are incredibly proud to have brewed a batch of Toast Ale for Bristol and hope it will inspire others to do the same and help reduce food waste.

Our website states: “Water, malt, yeast and hops. Four simple ingredients giving eternal possibilities. We explore, harness and celebrate them to create something extraordinary.” To that list, we should now add bread and we hope to further explore the possibilities it allows us working with Toast Ale.

Available to buy across Bristol and online.