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Long Island breweries use leftover bagels to make beer and fight food waste

Larry Goldstein of Spider Bite Beer Co. used

Larry Goldstein of Spider Bite Beer Co. used cinnamon raisin bagels for his beer. Photo Credit: Spider Bite Beer Co.

We eat a lot of bagels on Long Island. Even so, lots of them are thrown away when they’re no longer fresh — at least hundreds of pounds, every day.

Kevin Breslawski knows this firsthand, because he recently spent a few days collecting leftover bagels from Long Island Bagel cafes and then ferrying them to seven breweries so that they could invoke the earliest days of fermentation: Brewing beer with bread. Or in this case, bagels.

Those beers, from ale to a kvass to a sour, will be poured on Nov. 30 in Melville during Nothing Wasted, a beer-and-eats benefit intended to highlight and reduce food waste.

“In three or four days, I must have collected 300 or 400 pounds of bagels,” said Breslawski, a longtime home brewer and entrepreneur who has planned the event with his wife, Alicia Valeo, under the moniker Socially Conscious Beer. “We’re hoping to bring this problem to light, and let people know about food waste and also raise money for charity.”

The seven breweries each brewed a beer using the bagels as a base, though most also added malt. “We’ve never used a bread product before,” said Larry Goldstein of Holbrook’s Spider Bite Beer Co. Nevertheless, he and Steve Pominski of Farmingdale’s Barrage Brewing Co. collaborated to use cinnamon-raisin bagels for a beer to which they also added malt, 30 pounds of raisins and cinnamon sticks.

Paul Dlugokencky of Centerport’s Blind Bat Brewery used everything bagels, dark malts and flaked wheat for a beer he said defies style, but clocks in at about 4 percent alcohol. Tim Dougherty of The Brewers Collective in Bay Shore added rye, pumpernickel and wheat bagels to a brew that “has a nice sour tang,” courtesy of yogurt.

The brews will be poured alongside bites from seven restaurants, including The Brixton in Babylon and Orto in Miller Place. Each $50 ticket buys unlimited food and beer tasting, with proceeds going to the nonprofits Island Harvest and Rescuing Leftover Cuisine.

Nothing Wasted, Thursday, Nov. 30 at the Melville Marriott Long Island, 1350 Walt Whitman Rd. For more tickets and more info, click here.

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