Back in the summer of 2015, event organizers from Roskilde festival, one of North Europe’s largest music fests introduced a, let’s say “unique”, recycling initiative that utilized the urine from the festival’s concert-goers to brew beer.
Before you gag from the headline–no, organizers aren’t literally bottling pee and calling it a day. Instead, the “Piss to Pilsner” initiative uses spectators’ urine, which was safely attained via specially-marked urinals, to fertilize the barley used to make the Danish beer. No big deal.
And because there were urinals set up backstage as well, The Guardian reports there’s a slight chance a famous performer’s urine–like, say Paul McCartney or Pharrell Williams–was part of the mix as well. Mm-mmm!
The festival’s initiative was borne from a statement formed by the Danish Agriculture & Food Council that claimed mass amounts of “organic waste” from previous festivals were wreaking havoc on the area’s sewage system. To remedy this, festival organizers instinctively thought: Hey, why not make beer out of people’s urine?
Now, two years later, the festival’s organizers are finally able to witness the fruits of their labour.
“In the beginning, a lot of people thought that we had a filtration where the pee went directly into the beer, but that is of course not right,“ said Henrik Vang, managing director of Norrebro Bryghus, which brewed the product. Almost 50,000 litres of urine was collected from the fest, which yielded roughly 50,000 bottles winsomely titled “Pisner”, which will be sold at select stores in Denmark.
As of now, representatives say they have no plans to extend the project, though Vang did release an ominous statement suggesting he wants to “test our brewers and test our opportunities to make recyclable beer.”
“Beercycling” as it’s being coined, has become a burgeoning trend amongst more industrious brewers. Even in America. For instance, California breweries have made their own brew from San Diego’s urine supply and brewers Stone and Ballast Point have even used sewage water.
At this point of the article, you’re probably wondering what the stuff tastes like, right? Well, thanks to Reuters reporter Astrid Thompson, we know that it tastes “just like a regular beer,” and “nothing like urine at all.”
Because of course it doesn’t. Brewers wouldn’t invest in the experimental two-year plan if the result was going to taste like piss. Not to mention, organic farmers use urine as a natural fertilizer all the time and we pay extra for that stuff.