Brewing beer from surplus bread? We’ll toast to that

This new Bristolian beer could be a real breadwinner…

Fierce and Noble is known for its big bright cans, and one of the most easy-to-spot breweries we’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting (in a very fetching bright red and blue geometric livery). Their core range of beers includes some punchy numbers in the form of a West Coast style IPA, a pale ale, a nitro stout and a very interesting fruit salad saison. When we recently saw an Instagram post of the Fierce and Noble team with a hoard of discounted bread we knew they we up to something, so we got in touch with brewery assistant and taproom manager Tom to find out what they were plotting.

“We’re making a dark beer inspired by pain-au-chocolat, and to get a real ‘bready’ taste,” Tom tells us. According to his research, up to 44 percent of bread being sold in the UK ending up in the bin, they wanted to do their bit to be a part of the solution. 

(Image: head brewer Ollie Dent and Tom adding the bread to the brew)

It’s not just bread either; there’s practically a full continental breakfast being used, with croissants and pain au raisin also on the ingredients list. There’s more to the process than bunging in some crumbs though, Tom tells us.

“We toast the bread a little first and this helps to add fermentable sugars which will later be turned into alcohol by the yeast. Then, all the toasted bread is added into the mash tun with the regular grain and hot water or ‘liquor’ and it stews or ‘mashes’ for an hour, releasing the sugars.

“The sugary liquid or ‘wort’ is then transferred through a filter – so no bread lumps end up in your pint – and into a copper (a large tank) and boiled with hops to add bitterness. Finally, once we’re happy, the liquid is transferred into a fermentation vessel where we add yeast and wait for the magic to happen!”

After all that, it’s hoped the new brew will end up tasting like a pain-au-chocolat! The beer will be released at the Fierce and Noble Winter Beer Festival which takes place 15-17 February at the tap room on site in St Werburghs in Bristol. There’ll also be a fully stocked tap wall and a range of guest beers from friends and neighbours on offer as well as locally produced sausage rolls and vegan treats.