Brewing with a Mission: Interview with The Bread Brew’d Project

Thanks for joining us today and congratulations on your success with the the Bread Brew’d Project! We’re excited to be sharing your story today!

Tell us about The Bread Brew’d Project:

The Bread Brew’d Project is an innovative social enterprise that tackles the pressing issues of food waste and child food poverty, through our delicious craft beer. It was founded by two final year students at the The University of Nottingham, Hamish Barguss-Smith and Andrei Smirnov, who wanted to create an enjoyable product that enabled people to effortlessly support important social and environmental initiatives and what better way to do that than through a beer!

We tackle food waste by up-cycling fresh surplus bread from major supermarkets to brew our beer. This ensures that the surplus bread is kept within the human food chain and thus reduces the unnecessary demand for more food production. It also helps reduce CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere by waste bread. To date, we have upcycled over 17,000 slices of bread, saving over two tonnes of C02 emissions from being released into the atmosphere. 

All of our profits go towards tackling child food poverty by helping fund meals at school breakfast club programmes. We believe this pressing issue lies at the heart of social mobility and hinders children’s ability to reach their full potential, so we’re here to provide as many children as possible with the fuel they need to thrive. With the incredible support we have received by the community, we have been able to positively impact so many children’s lives by helping fund 9,300 meals at four school breakfast clubs and one holiday breakfast club in Nottingham.⠀

While creating our incredible beer, we strive to minimise our impact on the environment.   

Our mission is simple, we believe that food waste and food poverty should not co-exist, and we’re here to tackle that paradox. 

What makes The Bread Brew’d Project’s beer unique?

All our beers are brewed by up-cycling fresh surplus bread. This ensures that the surplus bread is kept within the human food chain and thus reduces the unnecessary demand for more food production. It also helps reduce CO2 emissions from being released into the atmosphere by waste bread. To date, we have upcycled over 17,000 slices of bread, saving over two tonnes of C02 emissions from being released into the atmosphere.

Here are a few things that we think set us apart from other breweries:

  • All our beers are 100% Vegan! 
  • We are carbon negative, offsetting double of what we produce through partnering with Make It Wild.
  • We use locally sourced hops in all our beers, reducing our environmental impact.
  • We use 100% renewable energy during our production, being powered by the great British wind, rain, and shine!
  • Once used, all our hops are composted, which are then used to grow more hops at the brewery.
  • Wasted malt from production is sent to local farms to be used as animal feed.
  • Water used during production is reused to jet wash our casks after brewing.

What growth have you seen since opening?

At our launch party in Nottingham, we sold out of all our beer within the first hour and a half. This incredible response we initially received has never left, and we are forever grateful for everyone’s continued support for our brand. 

From our launch, we quickly spread onto taps in pubs across Nottingham and then into pubs nationally. We then launched our national delivery service, enabling anyone in the UK to support our mission, which has been an overwhelming success.  

Tell us about your beer!

We currently have two beers, Bakers Pale Ale, and Breakfast Brew Coffee Porter. The tasting notes for both of these are below.

Bakers Pale Ale: A bright sparkling pale ale with hints of orange, citrus and spice that come from a selection of British-grown hops including Admiral, Bramling Cross, First Gold and UK Cascade. The character of the British malt and the softness from the surplus bread balances this beer to create a crisp and smooth finish at 4.1% ABV.

Breakfast Brew Coffee Porter: A dark sweet porter brewed with surplus ingredients and First Gold and Bramling Cross hops, pleasantly complimented with hints of toasted brown bread and vanilla. At 4.9% ABV, this enticing porter leaves a delightful coffee flavour on the palate, to be enjoyed at any time of the day.

Tell us about your brand and organizational culture:

We believe we’re an incredibly innovative and unique brand. Firstly, we were founded by two final year university students, who rather than drinking beer began making it.

Further, our beer serves multiple purposes. As opposed to just being an enjoyable beverage, we enable anyone drinking our beer to support and engage with pressing social and environmental initiatives, simply through having a beer! This is exactly the effortless approach that we sought to create to allow anyone to engage with our missions.

We also see ourselves as experimental. Not only are we brewing our beer with surplus bread, but we are also experimenting with other sources of surplus ingredients. As mentioned, in our Breakfast Brew Coffee Porter we brewed this fantastic beer using coffee grounds from an artisan coffee shop in Nottingham, and we will be continuing to try out more types of surplus ingredients for our future beers!

Where is your beer available?

We sell our beer onsite at Magpie Brewery, on tap in pubs across the UK, in various restaurants and hotels, on shelves in select Spar and Co-op branches, and we deliver nationally in the UK through our website!

Having founded Bread Brew’d in Nottingham, we want to do everything we can for our incredible local community. We partner with various school breakfast clubs in Nottingham, namely Bluebell Hill School, YWAM Holiday Breakfast Club, Edale Rise, Hogarth Academy and Sneinton C of E Primary, in order to help fund meals at their school breakfast club programmes. We want the children in our local community to have the fuel they need to thrive and excel, in order to reach their full potential.

What are your plans for the future of The Bread Brew’d Project?

We strive to continue expanding, in order to be able to brew more beer, which in turn will enable us to reduce the amount of surplus bread being sent to land fills and fund more meals at school breakfast club programmes.

How can people connect with you?

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today! Best of luck to you and the Bread Brew’d Project in the future!

Are you a brewery or beer industry business owner with a story to share? Send us an email at or leave a comment below if you would like to be featured in this article series!

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