St. Mel’s Independent Brewing Co. unveils collaborative ‘bread-to-beer’ pilot project that aims to reduce food waste with a tasty solution 

26th November 2020: The countdown to Christmas is on, and one local Longford brewery, St. Mel’s Independent Brewing Co., is ready to raise a toast with Irish beer enthusiasts this Christmas with their latest offering made from bread. Yes, that’s right – bread!

St. Mel’s have gone against the grain and pushed the boundaries of beer production with an innovative EPA funded pilot project with a neighbouring local business in Longford, Panelto Foods. St. Mel’s has been using Panelto Foods’ surplus bread to make beer and help reduce food waste at the same time. The result? A new beer with the same great taste that beer lovers are sure to enjoy, with sustainability at its core. The first commercial batch of the ‘bread-to-beer’ project has just been released and is set to be on sale to customers in St. Mel’s before Christmas.

Based in Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, St. Mel’s is a brewery with a passion for sustainability. Having successfully launched the brewery in 2014, with a combination of over 25 years of experience, Co-founders and Brewers Eoin Tynan and Liam Hanlon are proud to put their home county on the map as local producers of high-quality, all-natural beers that are chemical and additive free.

Speaking about why St. Mel’s is one of the leading independent breweries in Ireland, Co-founder Eoin Tynan, said; “Over 80% of the grain we use is Irish grown and malted; we pride ourselves on only using other local companies where possible and we only use imported ingredients when they are not available or produced in Ireland. We offer our customers something different and versatile with a local perspective that not only tantalises the tastebuds but offers a comprehensive range of ales, beers and lagers to suit every palate, whether you’re an experienced connoisseur in search of something new or a relatively new beer lover looking for a taste of home this Christmas.”

Diving deeper into the new innovative techniques used by the brewery, Co-founder and Head Brewer Liam Hanlon, said; “The ‘bread-to-beer’ project is a testament to our forward-thinking and sustainable values as a business. The key challenge for us in this project was to use waste bread that is already available from Panelto Foods to make beer but without affecting its flavour profile. Taste is so important to us here in St. Mel’s, so it’s imperative we take our time to get this 100% right. As a business, this project will help us reduce our carbon emissions, support our sustainable manufacturing and should allow us to make cost-base improvements as the waste mash we produce as a by-product from the brewing process can then be returned to the bakery and added to its bread, improving the nutritional profile without altering the taste. A win-win for all.”

2020 has been a busy year for St. Mel’s who have flipped the Covid challenge on its head and innovated its business to become one of the first licensed brewery shops in Ireland, as well as developing its website to sell online in recent weeks in time for the Christmas rush. Earlier this year, St. Mel’s secured a producer’s retail licence, awarding the brewery the unique opportunity to sell online to Irish consumers nationwide and to 25 countries overseas including Finland, Netherlands, Germany and the UK and France.

St. Mel’s offers over 10 beverage options to choose from including its top-selling brews:

  • ‘Ah Sure Look It….’ – A lightly toasted aroma is followed by a rich, malty flavour. Complimented by a subtle hop bitterness, the honey notes on the finish make this lager a perfect match for meaty pork sausages and nutty cheeses.
  • ‘Go On So!’ – A thirst quenching light lager, made using the highest quality Irish ingredients and matured in tank for six weeks delivers a clean, crisp, refreshing taste. It pairs extremely well with spiced dishes, steaks, and barbecued meats.
  • ‘I Will, Yeah!’ – Full bodied and fruity, I Will, Yeah! is double dry hopped for extra flavour. Hops include Citra, Cashmere and Mandarina Bavaria. The juicy pale ale goes well with rich and intense Indian or Thai cuisines, as well as spicy chicken wings.
  • ‘My Twist’ – This DDH hazy IPA has a light and fluffy head to provide the perfect platform to showcase the generous dry hopping, including Amarillo, Huell Melon and El Dorado varieties. Great for washing down hot sauce wings, tacos, and cheesy chips!

Each can is characterised by its own individual quirky name to capture the humorous local nature of the brewery. For Christmas, St. Mel’s has also introduced special mixed cases of select cans and bottles along with mini-kegs that can be bought directly from the brewery every day between 10am – 6pm and also online.

This Christmas, you can support local with St. Mel’s special Christmas “Miracle” box a 25-bottle mixed case of beer including the limited edition ‘Bread’ beer for €75 (includes free delivery across Ireland), a tailored subscription package or an individual mini keg starting at €29.95. The brewery is open Monday – Thursday 10am to 6pm and on Friday’s until 6.30pm to shop in person. Customers can also purchase online at or shop the collection in O’Brien’s stores nationwide.