Now … when you here the words “open source” most people think of computer software programs like Linux …It’s a model where the original “source code” can be modified and improved at no cost…and it’s shared among users for free. Well now … thanks to Rasmus Nielsen, beer is free too. Atleast the recipe is … in an industry where ingredients and processes are typically kept under strict trademark.

What’s this “Vores Øl”?

Vores Øl (Our Beer) is a great tasting energetic beer and it’s the world’s first open source beer! It is based on classic ale brewing traditions but with added guarana for a natural energy-boost.

Version 1.0 is a medium strong beer (6% vol) with a deep golden red color and an original but familiar taste.

Why Guarana?

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.)

Is it a real beer?

Yes and no. You can’t buy it in stores (at least not yet) and by the time you read this we have probably drank all the beer we brewed in the first batch. (It tasted good.)

But somewhere in the world someone might be using our recipe right now, and as long as they publish their version of the recipe they are free to sell it in a store near you…

How can beer be open source?

The recipe and the whole brand of Our Beer is published under a Creative Commons 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 Our Beer, but you have to publish the recipe under the same license (e.g. on your website or on our forum) 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 & Share Alike”).

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 are “Vores Øl Group”, a group of students at the IT-University in Copenhagen and have created Our Beer in collaboration with Superflex as an experiment in applying modern open source ideas and methods on a traditional real-world product (beer).

Vores Ol Website

CBC radio report