Would you drink beer made from human piss? If you attend the Roskilde Festival in Denmark in 2017, you may have no choice. Festival organizers started an initiative at the festival this year, which ended on July 4, where urinal pee was collected and stored and will be used to fertilize barley, which will then be used as an ingredient in the beer. So festivalgoers won’t be drinking foamy pee, but it’s still kinda weird.
The initiative, delightfully (if exaggeratedly) called “Piss to Pilsner,” creates a way to recycle the huge amount of liquid waste generated by the hundred thousand attendees. “Beercycling will turn the urine into a resource,” Danish Agriculture & Food Council spokesman Leif Nielsen told the Guardian. Organizers gathered 25,000 liters of urine over the course of the festival, which will presumably get loaded into a tanker truck and either dumped on a nearby barley field or used to soak that barley to make malt. They might have gotten headliner piss from the likes of Pharrell and Paul McCartney, too. I’ll ask you again, with what you now know: Would you drink beer made from Paul McCartney’s piss?
I wonder if beercycling could catch on at American music festivals, which are notoriously bad for the environment and probably would like to be greener. It would probably be warmly received at Bonnaroo, a hippieish festival where they love craft beer. The cleanest pee would be available at Coachella, because it’s full of LA people who mostly treat their bodies like temples but make exceptions for molly and cocaine (I wonder if drugs in the piss will matter during the fertilization process). The worst pee would come from the Gathering of the Juggalos. It would be contaminated with every drug imaginable and have sooooo much sugar from all the Faygo. Beer made from Juggalo piss would probably have hallucinogenic properties.
(Photo: Eva Rinaldi)