Beercycling transforms urine into beer

Northern Europe’s largest festival turns festivalgoers’ urine into fertiliser for barley crops

From the Series

The Danish Agriculture and Food Council (DAFC) together with Roskilde Festival organisers offered festivalgoers the opportunity to recycle their urine into beer. In a campaign titled “From Piss to Pilsner,” the group encouraged people to participate in the beercycling movement, which involves collecting urine and using it as fertiliser on barley farms.

The waste generated by the festival each year has a significant environmental impact on the local environment not to mention the city sewage system. Instead of having to treat the waste in the local treatment plant, the DAFC did some brainstorming and came up with the idea of turning thousands of litres of festivalgoers’ pee into barrels of beer.

An estimated 100 000 people at the Roskilde Festival in the summer of 2015 were approached to donate their urine. There were troughs for the men and the women were given she-wees, a funnel-like urinating device. All of the urine went to specially designed storage tanks, which were then transported to local barley farms.

It is said that visitors at the 2017 festival will get to try out the brew of beer created by 2015’s festivalgoers.

More on Design Activism