Melbourne brewers team up for sustainable beer

Melbourne’s Burnley Brewing and A Local Beer have teamed up for a ‘sustainable’ beer made from surplus bread and locally-sourced fruit.

A Local Beer, which leases tanks from Burnley for its range of socially-responsible beers, is launching the ‘Fruits of Our Labour’ series, using leftover produce to make limited-release beers, which in turn funds meals as part of its charitable tie up with the Secondbite Foundation.

SecondBite is backed by $500,00 in funding from supermarket Coles and aims to redistribute surplus food through local non-profit organisations throughout Australia. A Local Beer has been working with the organisation since its inception.

The initial August ‘Fruits of Our Labour’ release is a 5.8% abv Banana Bread Brown Ale brewed with surplus sourdough bread, blow-torched bananas, vanilla extract, malted barley and fresh hops.

Richmond-based Phillippa’s Bakery donated more than 25 kilogrammes of leftover bread that would have otherwise gone to waste, and the brewers locally sourced 115 kilogrammes of fresh bananas.

Burnley’s brewer Michael Stanzel said that when brewing the beer, the hardest part was calculating the amount of fermentable sugar to extract from the bread.

“With some careful planning we were able to substitute a good portion of our grain bill with surplus bread,” he explained.

A Local Beer launched 12 months ago and has three core range beers. A percentage of sales for every 6-pack or pint of its core range and every 4-pack of its limited ranges go towards meals with the SecondBite Foundation. The brand says this has amounted to more than 15,000 meals since it launched. Its beers can be located in 130 locations across VIC, SA, NSW and WA.

It says that all the spent grain from its brewing processes at Burnley go to a dairy farm in Pakenham to be reused as animal feed and the packaging rings are made from biodegradable compostable sugarcane, as it looks to bring sustainability into every area of the business.

A Local Beer co-founder Nick Campbell said the team were enthusiastic about bringing the issues of food insecurity and sustainability to beer drinkers.

“We have had a relationship with SecondBite since our inception, and…the hope is we can build this series over the coming years to broaden the impact and deliver a unique proposition to the people who love freshly crafted independent beer,” he said.

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