What Does One Do with 50,000 Litres of Music Festival Urine?

If you think your job is shitty, spare a thought for the dudes who must attend to the porta-potties at music festivals. I remember watching the honey wagon operators at Woodstock 94 have to deal with units so full that they were actually overflowing with solid waste. The image still makes me shiver.

But have you ever wondered what happens to all the human waste generated at a music festival? NPR did–and it turns out that someone using urine to make beer.’

Over the weekend, news leaked out via Reuters that the Danish brewery Norrebro Bryghus has created a novelty beer called “Pisner,” which the Reuters piece helpfully explains is “a word-play combining pilsner with local slang for urine.” (Not gonna lie, never thought of that particular word as “local slang.”) To make Pisner, Norrebro takes 50,000 liters of urine and… no, they don’t put it in the beer. Gross!

Actually, the urine is used to fertilize barley fields, which are then harvested and brewed into beer creating a sort of a closed-loop system.

The full story can be found here.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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