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Danes Brew 'Number One' Beer From Recycled Festival-Goers' Urine

CC0 / / Beer
Beer - Sputnik International
Danish farmers seem to have achieved a perfect cycle as they brewed beer using urine collected from festival-goers. One couldn't possibly be more environmentally friendly than that. The idea, aptly called 'beercycling,' takes the ordinary process of transforming beer into waste to a completely new level: waste into beer.

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Of course, the beer contains no urine as such. Instead, the waste product was used as a fertilizer for growing malting barley. This is not an entirely uncommon feature of the manufacturing process, when discharge from cows or pigs most often is used. What makes the Danish beer so special though is that they used human urine collected from visitors at Roskilde Festival, which is Scandinavia's largest music festival and one of the largest in Europe, the Danish Agriculture and Food Council reported in a press-release.

A total of 54,000 liters of ‘festival-class' urine was collected at Roskilde Festival by the Danish Agriculture and Food Council. In spring 2016, the urine was used to fertilize fields, yielding no less than 11 tons of barley. To complete the circle of beer, a pilsner, with the tongue-in-cheek name of 'Pisner', will quell beer-lovers' thirst this summer. A total of 60,000 bottles of the unconventional beer will be brewed in collaboration with the Nørrebro brewery. Other, more straightforward suggestions included 'Yellow ale' and 'Pale piss.'

​According to Karen Hækkerup, CEO of the Danish Agriculture and Food Council, beercycling allowed them to keep a useful product from literally being flushed down the drain.

"When it comes to circular economy, Danish farmers are some of the best in the world. If you can brew a beer with urine as fertilizer, you can recycle almost anything," Karen Hækkerup said.

​Nørrebro brewery executive director Henrik Vang called beercycling a "cool" project, stressing the challenges of sustainability and circular economy.

The product will be available for beer connoisseurs in June 2017.

The Roskilde Festival, held in the eponymous Danish city, has been attracting thousands of music lovers from all Europe since 1971. In recent years, it has attracted some 130,000 visitors annually, so there will obviously be no lack in supply for the Danish brewers.

Beercycling English from Landbrug & Fødevarer on Vimeo.


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