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26th November 2020

The Bread Brew’d Project

Recent graduate entrepreneurs from the University of Nottingham work with a local brewing company to up-cycle fresh surplus loaves into a range of tasty craft ales to fight child food poverty.

Every day, a staggering one million unsold loaves of bread are thrown away in the UK, while an estimated 38 per cent of children in Nottingham are living in poverty. Hamish Barguss-Smith and Andrei Smirnov created Bread Brew’d just last year alongside their final year of studies to help combat these issues. They were soon joined by another Nottingham graduate, Sam Robjohns, as the social enterprise expanded.

Beer is an excellent way of preserving the calorific content of bread and significantly extending its life. It replaces 40 per cent of the malt typically used – reducing agricultural impact and CO2 emissions – and helps hop utilisation.

Using leftover loaves donated by supermarkets, bakeries and local businesses, they developed their first beer, Bakers Pale Ale, in collaboration with the Magpie Brewery, a company which is strongly committed to sustainability. The beer is available in various pubs around Nottingham and has recently launched in 34 Co-op stores across Derbyshire.

The profits from the Bread Brew’d project support their social partner, Foodprint, in providing meals for school breakfast clubs in Nottingham. Andrei and Hamish were previously involved in Foodprint, Nottingham’s first social supermarket. Based in Sneinton, Foodprint takes surplus food which would otherwise go to waste from supermarkets and sells it at a greatly reduced price, giving people access to affordable, nutritious food. Bread Brew’d has now helped fund a staggering 9,300 school breakfast meals across Nottingham and saved over 17,000 slices of bread from going to waste, preventing 2.3 tonnes of COequivalent from being released into the atmosphere.

Co-founder Hamish said: “We believe the paradox of food poverty and food waste – scarcity with abundance – should not exist. We wanted to create a product with both environmental and social impact, putting a positive spin on the industry.”

“We believe this issue lies at the heart of social mobility – children who don’t have enough to eat find it difficult to concentrate in the classroom, which can hold them back in their studies and prevent them from fulfilling their true potential.” Andrei Smirnov expanded.

The start-up has recently become carbon negative through the planting of a small woodland and have started combining surplus coffee grounds and fresh surplus bread to create their Breakfast Brew Coffee Porter.

Press release from the Bread Brew’d Project

For more details contact Sam Sam Robjohns at