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Crumbs Brewing's bread beer is fresh out of Reigate

PUBLISHED: 11:58 21 July 2017 | UPDATED: 11:58 21 July 2017

Beer and bread, a winning combination from the Reigate area

Beer and bread, a winning combination from the Reigate area

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Micro breweries are springing up across Surrey as quickly as pints can be pulled. Reigate's Crumbs Brewing have taken a slightly different direction to most however, using leftover bread from Horley's Chalk Hills Bakery as a key ingredient

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2017

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Having worked for years in marketing, with ‘glamorous’ international brands, such as Huggies and Kleenex, Reigate resident Morgan Arnell set out to create something of his own. Crumbs, a beer made from leftover bread from his local Chalk Hills Bakery, is the refreshing result that’s ready for summer.

“The idea originally struck me while munching on a bacon sarnie and thinking how it must be so frustrating for a highly-skilled baker to sometimes see their product going to waste at the end of a day,” he says.

A swift google later and with a new found knowledge of the historical links between brewing and baking (as well as the modern revival led by the likes of Toast in London), the seeds of his idea bloomed.

“One thing that didn’t seem to exist was a brand that truly focused on the quality of the “repurposed” ingredients – i.e. partnering with a ‘single source’ artisan baker,” he says.

This led him back to one of his favourite Reigate coffee shops, Chalk Hills, whose bakery in Horley happens to produce a steady flow of delicious loaves.

Morgan adds, “I don’t think the idea would have ever gained much momentum without the enthusiasm of Chris Robinson at Chalk Hills. When I dropped him a note floating my idea, I half expected him to politely ignore me. Instead, he was really excited.”

After a little experimentation (at Goddards in the Isle of Wight, where Morgan grew up), Crumbs’ Amber Lager was ready to market, produced using leftover Surrey Bloomers.

“It’s a lighter white loaf with a delicious flavour, which was perfect as a start point for a rich, easy-drinking beer,” says Morgan. “The type of bread will certainly change the character of the beer – our bread crumbs make up over 25 per cent of the brew. Hence we put as much importance against the selection of the bread as we would the malt or hops.”

The early reaction to Crumbs has been positive and Morgan is hopeful that this is just the start of the journey.

He’s also looking forward to experimenting with different loaves, as well as repurposing other artisan products.

“I’ve definitely got my eyes on a Dark Rye Stout or a Sourdough IPA. I also learnt that most coffee grounds end up in landfill, so a Coffee Porter to save on waste sounds perfect doesn’t it? It doesn’t have to stop there though. How about a gin made from wonky veg? A white bloomer vodka…?! Maybe it’s wise to not run before we can walk,” laughs the enthusiastic entrepreneur.

• For those looking to get their hands on a bottle of the original Crumbs beer, it’s stocked in Reigate’s The Vineking and Four Hops, with outlets being updated at crumbsbrewing.co.uk.

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Off the Shelf is a monthly Surrey Life magazine spotlight focused on some of the most exciting Surrey-produced items to be found on our county’s foodie shop shelves. To get your product feature, e-mail matthew.williams@surreylife.co.uk

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