More than 133-billion pounds of food is sent to landfills every year in the United States. Those numbers have prompted the creative forces behind one brewery to take action. They're turning leftover bread into beer.
Their leap into a multi-billion-dollar craft beer industry is just the beginning of a full circle sustainability effort.
It's 7:30 in the morning, and Madi Holtzman has more bread on her hands than she can carry. But these leftovers aren't going into the trash.
They're going into a glass. The scraps are a key ingredient in Holtzman's American pale ale. The hoppy treat is made with surplus bread from bakeries and grocery stores.
The concept, called 'toast', started in London and is now being launched in New York City. The goal is to cut down on food waste, while serving up an easy-to-drink brew any beer lover can get behind.
But the sustainability effort doesn't end here. In fact, it goes full circle. Some companies are actually taking what's left over after the brewing process and turning that into bread again.
At Hewn Bakery, they support sustainability efforts by taking spent grain from local brewers and adding it to a popular artisanal bread. The grains add texture to the bread, not beer flavor. Customers don't mind.
Back at toast, Holtzman is getting ready to distribute her brew. The company plans to pour any profits into charity. Until then, they're toasting their success.
Beer made from bread has a long history, going back to the ancient Sumerians in 4000 B.C. and continuing until today.
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