Bedlam Brewery near Ditchling creates new beer and calls for climate action ahead of COP26

An award-winning craft brewery near Ditchling is among 25 breweries calling on world leaders to respond to the climate crisis ahead of COP26.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 12:46 pm

Bedlam Brewery at St Helena Farm has put its name to an open letter urging governments to ‘commit to robust and wide-ranging targets’ to stop global warming.

“We are in a climate emergency,” the letter states, adding that global temperatures are set to rise by more than 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels over the next 20 years.

“We face worsening wildfires and flooding, loss of habitats and species, and threats to lives and livelihoods,” it says. “There’s no time to waste.”

The team at Bedlam Brewery in September this year.

The letter goes on to say that one of the fastest ways to tackle climate change is reducing food waste.

Food systems, it says, are responsible for one-third of greenhouse gas emissions and 80 per cent of deforestation, but one third of the world’s food is not eaten.

In response to this, the breweries have created a Companion Series, led by Toast Ale.

Each participating business has brewed a new beer using surplus bread to prevent food waste and reduce the demand for natural resources.

The Bedlam Smokie Porter is part of the Companion Series, led by Toast Ale, which uses surplus bread to prevent food waste. Picture: Mark Newton Photography.

These limited-edition beers include the Bedlam Smokie Porter.

“Our Bedlam porter was brewed with excess bread and specialist Beech smoked Malt for extra depth and complexity,” said Sally O’Connor, Bedlam Brewery’s communications manager.

“Sussex Smokie is designed to be savoured,” she said, calling it a ‘dark classic’ with ‘roasted/TOAST’ed chocolate and smokie coffee flavours’.

The breweries hope the drinks will raise at least £65,000 for conservation and regenerative agriculture organisations, protecting 3.25 million rainforest trees and sequestering 360 tCO2 in agricultural soils to support biodiversity.

The contents of the Toast Companion Series Box. Picture: Mark Newton Photography.

Some 2,600 Companion Series boxes are available to purchase with £26 from each sale invested in conservation.

Lee Twee, head brewer at Bedlam Brewery, said: “At Bedlam we have had time to have a long look at our sustainability efforts over the last 18 months, so when we were approached by Toast about joining the Companion Series and its goals, we at Bedlam knew we had to be a part of this.”

Lee went on to say that TOAST have shown ingenuity in creating eco-friendly beer.

“This is our little part in a big message, by taking a beer we love, adding a twist, but using surplus bread in the process to aid the message and movement,” he said.

COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, runs from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow.

Find out more about the new beer at