Where is the recipe?
What´s this FREE BEER thing? I thought it was called “Vores Øl”?
Vores Øl (Our Beer) was the original, great tasting energetic beer and wast world’s first open source beer. As are later versions, it was based classic ale brewing traditions but with added guarana for a natural energy-boost.
Version 1.0 was a medium strong beer (6% vol) with a deep golden red color and an original but familiar taste. The first batch is long gone. We enjoyed it.
What is the difference between “Vores Øl” and FREE BEER?
Vores Øl was the result of the joint effort of students at Copenhagen IT University and copenhagen-based artist collective Superflex. The aim was to see what happens when an open-source structure is applied to a universally known product like beer.
Superflex, then, took the idea further with FREE BEER, and has since released new, revised versions of FREE BEER, based on feedback from testers. Version 3.0, a profesionally brewed variant, is scheduled to hit shelves in early june, in collaboration with the danish microbrewery Skands.
The South American Guarana beans are a natural source of energy and health. Their stimulating effect nicely balances the drowsiness that is associated with beer. The caffeine contents in each beer, approx. 35 mg, is lower than in a cup of coffee so you shouldn’t have to worry about possible side effects.
How can a beer be “free”?
The recipe and the FREE BEER brand is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license, which basically means that anyone can use our recipe to brew the beer or to create a derivative of our recipe. You are free to earn money from FREE BEER, but you have to publish the recipe under the same license (e.g. on your website or, better still, on this webpage) and credit our work. You can use all our design and branding elements, and are free to change them at will provided you publish your changes under the same license (“Attribution – ShareAlike”).
Can large companies market Our Beer?
Yes, they are free to use our recipe at will – but they also have to comply with the licence and publish their version of the recipe under the same Creative Commons license. This requirement is to keep the beer “free” so everyone has the freedom to improve the recipe based on the work of others.
Who are “we”?
We started out as “Vores Øl Group”, a group of students at the IT-University in Copenhagen, and Superflex, a copenhagen-based artist collective. The aim was to start an experiment in applying modern open source ideas and methods on a traditional real-world product (beer). At the end of the course, Superflex decided to continue the experiment and changed the name to FREE BEER. The project has since received much attention and support from all over the world.
Why not? We all like beer, and as an added bonus there is a legendary quote by Richard M. Stallman which explains the concept of free software:
“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech”, not as in “free beer”.
(Free Software is sometimes referred to as Open Source Software – although similar in approach, Free software and Open Source Software differs in terms of the underlying philosophy. This is explained at length here)
We think that our beer is a nice twist on this quote, and think it will be interesting to see if our beer grows stronger, out in the free.