Danish Festival will collect urine to make beer

For its “Piss to Pilsner” initiative, the Roskilde music festival plans to recycle concert-goers’ urine and use it to fertilize malting barley.

Under a cloudless sky, shirtless Vikings with plastic cups of beer in hand are queuing excitedly along a patch of sawdust-covered earth to urinate in a metal trough. Their “contributions” are being collected in specially designed storage tanks, which will then be transported to nearby fields to fertilise malting barley for brewing beer.

“From piss to pilsner” is a new initiative being launched at Roskilde – northern Europe’s largest music festival – in Zealand, Denmark, last week. Organisers hope to collect 25,000 litres of urine from more than 100,000 festivalgoers.

If everything goes to plan, guests at Roskilde 2017 will be served beer from barley fertilised by their own urine. “It’s about changing our approach to waste, from being a burden to being a valuable resource,” says Leif Nielsen from the Danish Agriculture & Food Council (DAFC), which is partnering with festival organisers to promote “beercycling”.


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