World’s first open source beer recipe | Jad Thoughts

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  • On : Aug 19, 2005

World’s first open source beer recipe | Jad Thoughts: “Students from the Information Technology University in Copenhagen are trying to help by releasing what they are calling the world’s first open source beer recipe.

It is called Vores Oel, or Our Beer, and the recipe is proving to be a worldwide hit.

The idea behind the beer comes from open source software. This is software whose code is made publicly available for anyone to change and improve, provided that those changes and improvements are then shared in turn.

Perhaps the most well-known example of open source software is the Linux operating system.

Microsoft, on the other hand, creates proprietary software, meaning the company does not tend to let others see how its software works.

The Danish brewer Carlsberg takes a similar approach to beer.

Rasmus Nielsen, who runs a Copenhagen-based artist collective called Superflex, wanted to challenge the idea of ‘proprietary’ beer.
Software and alcohol
He was teaching a workshop on intellectual property and copyright at the Information Technology University in Copenhagen.
Mr Nielsen asked his students to think about applying open source ideas to the non-digital world.

‘Why not take those ideas back to the old world, and try to apply them to other things as well?’ asks Nielsen.

Why beer? As the Vores Oel website says, why not?

‘It’s a universal commodity that we like to think of as free, but unfortunately it isn’t,’ says Mr Nielsen. ‘So, I thought it was an appropriate medium to confront these issues.’

A group of about 15 students at the university agreed.

‘Beer is an amusing subject in a university environment,’ says Thorarinn Stefansson, one of the students who signed up for the open source beer project.

‘It’s something more stimulating than perhaps making something non-edible or non-drinkable.’

Heavy brew
To get started, the students met with the author of a Danish book on home-brewing.

[tags] opensource, beer, recipe[/tags]