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Bucks Star’s head brewer explains why ecology is a core value of the business…
My education and upbringing have been influential in how I think. In particular, my background in jurisprudence (legal philosophy) helped me discover that, ultimately, our laws are anthropocentric in nature. We might have environmental protections enacted in laws across the world, but ultimately the primary aim of laws is to govern the relationships between people, without sufficient regard to the impact human activity has on the surrounding environment and other animal species we all very much depend on. The upbringing my brother and I had also helped us become very conscious of what we eat, with emphasis on organic produce and wholesome foods.
Personally, I see business as an effective vehicle for changing people’s values and habits for the better, and ecology has been a key priority for me as I feel our beautiful environment is being taken for granted. It so happened that in 2013, my curiosity for real beer led me to take steps towards opening an ecological microbrewery, the name for which was immediately obvious: “Bucks Star“! From the start, it was clear to my brother that in brewing our pure beer, we should avoid the use of finings made from isinglass (fish bladder) and use organic ingredients wherever possible. In fact, our initial strapline advertised everywhere was “Unfiltered and Unfined”. Soon after, Guinness announced that after over 256 years of using isinglass, they were going vegan-friendly.
In 2016, the microbrewery was affected by a neighbouring fire, closing it down for nearly 2 years for the insurance company to carry out the building reinstatement. It was during this period that we made a decision to end our single-use offering and focus primarily on our zero-waste scheme, which we built around our reusable glass vessels called Growlers. It made no sense that people should pay for packaging every single time they make a purchase. People also pay for the means of disposing of that waste, and we will all pay the price for a degrading environment. We envisioned and formalised “Growler Swap” as the alternative, designed to address all these inefficiencies. It was not until the start of 2018 that we managed to return to the microbrewery and restart operations. During this past year, we have learned very much by pioneering our Growler Swap innovation. There is a huge educational effort to make people aware of what Growler Swap is about, how it works and, above all, why we are heavily investing in this reuse scheme. Another obstacle is access to ordinary shops and retailers.
Growler Swap is based on the idea that you return your empties and Swap for fresh Growler-conditioned beers, whilst moving away from the convenience and expensive waste of single-use containers. You pay for packaging once only! We charge no extra for packaging the first time you buy, i.e. you pay the same amount for our Growlers as for disposable glass bottles – in fact, about £1 more only. You can then sell us your empty for that £1 if you wish or, if you Swap it for another, any 1L/2L empty will get you £5 off the Growler of your choice, meaning you pay £0 packaging every time! We can of course not buy empties outright for £5, as they are of no use to us unless we wash, and refill, them – which we are able to do (free) in exchange for your return custom!
The challenge has been tremendous and is not likely to ease anytime soon, but it is very rewarding when customers who support us appreciate what we are doing and always return with encouraging words whilst recommending us to friends. We might be ahead of the curve, but you can be too!
What is brewer’s yeast?
Brewer’s yeast is an ingredient used in the production of beer and bread. It is made from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a one-celled fungus. Brewer’s yeast has a bitter taste.
Brewer’s yeast is also used as a nutritional supplement. It’s a rich source of chromium, which may help your body maintain normal blood sugar levels. It is also a source of B vitamins.
Brewer’s yeast is considered a probiotic and is used to aid digestion.
What does brewer’s yeast do?
Brewer’s yeast contains small organisms (microflora) that help maintain the proper functioning of the digestive tract. It’s contains nutritional value and is a rich source of:
It is also a great source of B vitamins that provide:
- thiamine (B-1)
- riboflavin (B-2)
- niacin (B-3)
- pantothenic acid (B-5)
- pyridoxine (B-6)
- folic acid (B-9)
- biotin (B-7)
What are the benefits of brewer’s yeast?
The probiotic characteristics of brewer’s yeast may make it an effective way to prevent diarrhea. It has been used to treat other disorders of the digestive tract, including:
- diarrhea caused by antibiotics
- traveler’s diarrhea
- irritable bowel syndrome
- clostridium difficile colitis
- lactose intolerance
- Brewer’s yeast can provide energy and may help maintain healthy skin, hair, eyes, and mouth. It may be effective at supporting the nervous system and enhancing the immune system.
The chromium in brewer’s yeast may help control sugar levels for patients with type 2 diabetes by improving glucose tolerance.
Brewer’s yeast is a source of B vitamins but it does not contain B-12. Inadequate amounts of B-12 can cause anemia, so it’s important to make sure you have sources of B-12 in your diet.
This article has been taken and edited from https://www.healthline.com/health/brewers-yeast
You are advised to verify the information for yourself. Please consult a health specialist if you have any concerns or experience any pains as a result of taking brewers yeast.
Professor Charlie Bamforth emphasising the importance of freshness
Professor Charlie Bamforth has described the nine month Best Before dates applied to beers in England as ‘ridiculous’, a view which raises questions about the move to twelve month dates in Australia. Continue reading →
Once upon a time, before Milton Keynes was the old village of Mideltone. Many years on and we celebrate the town’s 50th Anniversary as Milton Keynes. Milton Keynes is one of Europe’s fastest growing towns and was reported by The Guardian newspaper in 2015, as a town which creates jobs faster than anywhere in the UK. Continue reading →
Bucks Star on Collaboration & Localism
Bucks Star have been called to give evidence to a Committee at the Council offices in Central Milton Keynes. The evidence is required to show that there is a real prospect of The Suffolk Punch in Heelands being used as an asset of community value; that in fact Bucks Star itself will commit to and invest in the project to realise this asset.
Back in early 2015 the brewery had contemplated opening a freehouse, but it was too soon and a suitable location was not available at the time. However, the Suffolk Punch presents a real and new opportunity, perhaps a bigger one than originally anticipated, but a goal certainly worth working towards.
Bucks Star’s tripartite philosophy focuses on ecology, health and the local community and helping to bring alive The Suffolk Punch under the guise of Bucks Star is absolutely inline with the brewery’s community ethos. There is presently nowhere in Central Milton Keynes championing beers made by all of the local breweries and our founder’s intention has always been to open an establishment which specialises in promoting all of the local producers. Milton Keynes has the perfect CV of local producers with Concrete Cow as the first brewery to setup in recent years and Virtual Orchard as the first cider producer. Bucks Star views itself as an agent of this collaborative movement and an important movement it is.
Bucks Star would like to thank Milton Keynes CAMRA and their Chair David Martin for their support over the past couple of years and to Mr & Mrs Fursdon and others giving evidence to support the local community, at the Council meeting on Monday.
We have yet to see what reality emerges in the aftermath of the Government’s use of public funds to rescue failing financial institutions and plans to spend our way out of recession. We can’t predict the outcomes as yet. But what got us here? Continue reading →
British Paralympian Andy Lewis won gold in the men’s PT2 Triathlon and says he will be celebrating his victory with his first beer in two years. Andy Lewis may not have waited two years before his first pint had he known about the benefits of Bucks Star’s real ale. Nonetheless, a great achievement he has made as well as a perfect choice of celebratory drink. Continue reading →