Liam – July 17, 2017

I enjoy light beer. Cheap beer. The kind of beer my beer snob friends who prefer stuff that, to me, is more like drinking soggy bread than a refreshing beverage will call swill. They’ll call it pee beer, but they won’t say pee, they’ll say the word that means the same thing but rhymes with hiss. But I don’t care because I love the stuff.

So I was quite excited to learn that Nørrebro Bryghus in Copenhagen is brewing actual pee beer.

OK, not actual pee beer, but sort of.

The Danes are creating some delicious, organic beer from, ahem, urine. But guests of The Danish Home's August 10 "Cuisine and Spirits" event can be sure there will be no such ingredient in the beer that evening!

The Danes are creating some delicious, organic beer from, ahem, human urine. But guests of The Danish Home’s August 10 “Cuisine and Spirits” event can be sure there will be no such ingredient in the beers that evening!

The human urine, which was collected from the urinals at the Roskilde Music Festival, in 2015, is being used to fertilize the barley fields. Barley nourishment via human waste – it’s an interesting concept, right? And considering that Roskilde is the largest music fest in Northern Europe, it’s fair to assume that all of that urine was mostly beer anyway. And they have a lot of it. 50,000 liters of urine (about 13,200 gallons for those of us not fluent in metric) is enough to produce 60,000 bottles of beer.

The annual Roskilde Festival in Denmark collects waste from its urinals to fertilize the barley fields from which "pisner" beers are made.

Waste from urinals at the Roskilde Festival in Denmark is used to fertilize the barley fields from which the beer is made.

The idea of using urine in the beer-making process might strike many as odd, but it’s perfectly routine for the brewers at Nørrebro Bryghus. They are committed to making organic beer, and what’s more organic than human urine? And we can trust that it’s going to taste pretty darn good. The microbrewery has brought home quite a few awards at beer competitions including three medals from the World Beer Cup, the world’s largest international beer competition.

Although I’m not a beer snob like so many of my friends, I do love beer. And I’m looking forward to the “Cuisine and Spirits” event on August 10 at the Danish Home of Chicago as part of the Home’s ongoing 125th anniversary celebration. I’ve looked into it…all the beer that will be served at the event – along with the wine and the sure-to-be delicious food – is urine-free. I guess I’ll have to take that trip to Denmark I’ve been planning in my head for way too long. I might even invite some of my beer snob friends and show them that pee beer is delicious, after all.