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B.C. brewery gives old bread a new life as craft beer

Vancouver Island company turning old bread into beer
WATCH: Vancouver Island company turning old bread into beer

A Vancouver Island craft brewery has come up with a way of keeping tonnes of best-before bread out of the landfill.

Small Block Brewing Company has released its Rye-Cycle Fresh Hopped IPA.

“I don’t think anyone really knew how it was going to turn out,” said assistant general manager Morgan Donnelly.

READ MORE: Here’s how much it costs to make a can of craft beer

The idea was first brought to the brewers by the Cowichan Green Community, a volunteer group dedicated to reducing the amount of unsold food from grocery stores that ends up being thrown out.

As part of its food recovery project, manager Nathan Harben began collecting the bread, taking it from bakeries to the brewery.

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WATCH: (Aired July 18) National campaign aims to trim Canadian food waste

National campaign aims to trim Canadian food waste
National campaign aims to trim Canadian food waste

“You know we get to broadcast the message of food waste to the community while also providing a really good product, like a beer,” Harben said.

Harry Wilke heard about the new variety and decided he had to try it.

READ MORE: Canada among heaviest food wasters on the planet, report says

“Well, it’s just got this little subtle taste to it that’s interesting,” he said. “It’s the whole idea that it’s bread that would otherwise go to waste.”

Up to 50 per cent of what ends up in the landfill is food waste. Bread is a major contributor, given its tendency to go stale so quickly.

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Donnelly said this is a win-win solution.

“Less food in the waste stream is a good thing. Good beer is also a good thing.”

Small Block’s is currently preparing its second bread brew, a nut brown ale made with predominantly sourdough bread. It will be released on Nov. 30.