From Bread To Beer: Reducing Food Waste In Austin

Grain Changer

740,000 pounds. That’s how much food Keep Austin Fed helped keep out of the landfill in 2018. The local nonprofit organization deploys an army of volunteers each day to grocery stores, restaurants, and bakeries around town, collecting their surplus food and distributing it to people in need.

This year, they’ve brought the beloved local brewery Hops & Grain in on the cause.

So what does a brewery have to do with food waste? Lisa Barden (program director with Keep Austin Fed) discovered the answer to that question when she was watching the popular Anthony Bourdain documentary Wasted. The documentary featured a UK brewery that was using excess bread from bakeries to make beer.

That’s when Lisa thought, “Why can’t we do this here?”.

Eventually she was connected with Hops & Grain and Easy Tiger bakery and a beautiful partnership was born! This Saturday is the official tapping of Grain Changer, a new beer brewed by Hops & Grain and made with surplus bread from Easy Tiger.

Grain Changer

According to Lisa, pretty much every bakery and grocery store in town has excess bread, to the point that a lot of food pantries and soup kitchens are overwhelmed by the quantity. That’s what makes breweries such a potentially valuable partner when it coms to bread waste.

With this latest batch of beer, Hops & Grain hopes to show other breweries in town that this can be done, inspiring them to help reduce food waste in our community as well.

Want to taste the beer? 
The official tap party is on Saturday, January 26th from 1pm to 3pm at the Hops & Grain Tap Room (507 Calles Street, #101). One dollar from every pint of Grain Changer purchased throughout the entire day on January 26th will be donated to Keep Austin Fed.

Grain Changer

Want to join in the effort to reduce food waste in Austin?
Keep Austin Fed needs volunteers like you! Their program relies on volunteers to pick up food from local businesses and deliver them to soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and food pantries. Together, these organizations that receive food from Keep Austin Fed distribute 10,000 meals a week to Austinites in need.

Volunteering is easy! All you have to do is sign up, take a short training, and pick a time that fits in your schedule. You can even sign up for regular lunch hour pick ups and deliveries, so you can give back to the community while you’re at work.

Intrigued about volunteering, but not yet sure? There will be lots of Keep Austin Fed volunteers at the tap party on January 26th, so it’s the perfect time to meet people and ask questions.


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