Singapore start-up upcycled bread to make beer

Singapore start-up upcycled bread to make beer

SINGAPORE: Standing outside a bakery, it is hard to imagine loaves of unworn bread being tossed into a bin. More than 24 million slices of bread are thrown away every day, and that is the fate of more than 24 million of them.

CRUST is tackling food waste by converting unold bread into beer by upcycling sugar from bread.

The start-up, which began in 2019, has brewed close to a hundred different types of beer from different types of bread, according to CEO Travin Singh.

Rye bread goes well with a darker beer. The 31-year-old says that if you try a sourdough bread, it goes really well with an India Pale Ale IPA.

The company has expanded its business to include sparkling sodas made from excess fruits and vegetables.

When we started, we collected a small amount of bread from different bakeries, but we realised that it was not economical or environmental. We started identifying much larger companies and then had one collection point, says Singh.

Singh: What we extract is the sugar content of bread and rice to replace grains. When we collect bread, we make sure it is in the right condition, the bread is the right size to extract as much sugar as possible and the delivery is correct. Then we go to the brewery and make our beers there. Singh says it is exactly like regular beer for those wondering how upcycled beer tastes.

If you think that the beer is going to taste different, you will be disappointed because it tastes more or less like what the market already has. BEYOND UPCYCLING, however, is not the most sustainable process as it uses a lot of water and energy.

Singh acknowledges that the beer making process is resource intensive, but he says that it's not the only way that we can reduce our carbon footprint. He highlights three ways the company is reducing its carbon emissions, including using locally sourced produce, maximising underused production facilities and making new products from used grain.

Singh says CRUST has replaced a good amount of imported hops flowers of the lupulus plant that gives the aroma and flavor in beer with lemon myrtle, a botanical grown at Gardens by The Bay.

The more botanicals I can find in Singapore I don't have to fly hops in large amounts from overseas, it is not just R&D innovation but supply chain as well.