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This Danish Music Festival Wants to Turn Your Piss into Beer

Danish music festival Roskilde has a so-crazy-it-just-might-work plan to "beercycle" your piss into a lovely pilsner that you can drink at a future festival. Golden showers, indeed.
Hilary Pollack
Los Angeles, US

Ever taken a swig of some particularly nasty beer marketed towards broke frat boys and then muttered to yourself (or whoever's around), "This beer tastes like piss"? Well, great news! That very beer might be made out of piss in the future, if the organizers at the Danish music festival Roskilde have anything to do with it.

See, music festivals are a mess. In addition to all of the trash created and drugs taken at the damn things, there is a lot of urine collected by the inevitably booze-and-water-guzzling crowds. Over at Roskilde—northern Europe's largest music festival—they want to take 25,000 liters of that "liquid waste" and use it for something other than killing grass or stinking up chain-link fences: namely, fertilizing barley.


And the barley will then come full circle and be, in The Guardian's words, "'beercycled' into pilsner."

Will the beer taste like the sounds of Kendrick Lamar and Die Antwoord? Maybe.

Here's how it will work: at last weekend's festival, attendees pissed in metal troughs that then filtered their liquid gifts into special storage tanks, which will be taken to nearby barley fields and used as free fertilizer. Resourceful!

(You may be wondering, Was all of this piss male, or did some brave females squat and contribute as well? Don't worry—the ladies weren't left out; organizers handed out complimentary cardboard "urine directors" so that no donated girl pee went uncollected.)

Beercycling #RFpiss

— Landbrug&Fødevarer (@spisekammeret) June 27, 2015

Called "from piss to pilsner," the initiative is supported by the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, with spokesman Leif Nielsen explaining that "It's about changing our approach to waste, from being a burden to a valuable resource." And let's be honest, beer is a valuable resource. The barley grown with the golden shower of 100,000 music fans will then be served at Roskilde 2017. Mmm, tastes like environmentalism! And MDMA!

Denmark, so environmental // #rf15 #roskildefestival #mitroskilde #piss #beer #drunk #festival #wtf #theworld_thru_youreyes #nofilter #swag A photo posted by Roberto (@suneroberto) on Jun 28, 2015 at 11:30am PDT

But Nielsen thinks that concertgoers will be enthusiastic about the project and will "see the reason and fun" for beercycling in this fashion. That goes for the artists, too: piss from the urinals next to the stage will also make its way into the fertilizer.

"We're hoping to collect some rock star pee as well," Marie Grabow Westergaard from the DAFC told The Guardian.

And yes, the festival uses recycled plastic cups. If they've thought of turning pee into pilsner, you've got to assume they've already got their other angles covered.

Who knows? Someday, "this beer tastes like piss" might just be a compliment.