D’you love beer? I definitely do. OK, that’s settled then. Now the question is whether we love it enough to get adventurous to the point where we let piss into our beer mugs.

That didn’t come out quite right. I’m not saying we sample beer that contains piss. But how about beer whose production involves using human urine to fertilise the malting barley? Now that’s sustainability for you!

Maybe it’s not surprising that the idea originates in Denmark: that country gets a lot of piss! One thing it’s famous for, at least among music lovers, is the Roskilde festival. It’s the largest in Northern Europe and its 2015 edition supplied 50,000 litres of urine for Norrebro Bryghus to use. As reported by Reuters, the Danish microbrewery put this sea of human waste to interesting work: the piss served as fertiliser for the malting barley that ultimately delivered around 60,000 bottles of beer.

Norrebro Bryghus has dubbed its novelty brew “Pisner.” No great mystery here: piss and pilsner give you Pisner. Denmark’s Agriculture and Food Council is behind this idea and has already come up with a term for the concept: beercycling.

In case you’re worried the brew carries any whiff of pee-pee, Anders Sjogren can put your mind at rest. He is entitled to provide feedback as his excreta contributed to production: Sjogren was among the attendees of the 2015 Roskilde festival. Anyway, Reuters cited him as saying this:

“If it had tasted even a bit like urine, I would put it down, but you don’t even notice.”

As for Norrebro Bryghus, it came into being thanks to Anders Kissmeyer. The former brewmaster for Carlsberg founded the company in 2003. Norrebro Bryghus also has a food business, its cuisine drawing inspiration from Nordic classics of the genre. I wonder if piss has a future in their kitchens as well…

Nørrebro_Bryghus
Image by Karri Huhtanen