Free Beer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Vores Øl)
Free Beer
Label of Free Beer 3.2.
Country of origin Denmark
Related productsOpenCola (drink)

Free Beer is a beer brand collaboration between students of IT University of Copenhagen[1] and the artist collective Superflex initiated in 2004. The recipe of the beer is published under a Creative Commons license, granting others the right to freely use and distribute it.[2][3]

Free Beer "St Austell" (version 3.2) (2007).
Superflex Workshop at the "Free Beer Factory" event at the Taipei Biennial 2010 in Taipei, Taiwan[4]
Free Beer on sale at the iSummit 2008 Sapporo in Japan sold for 500yen.[5]
Anti-copyright display with a "Free Beer version 3.2 St. Austell" mascot and a sign reading "Copyright is preventing access to knowledge" (2007)


Vores Øl[edit]

In December 2004, a group of students from the IT University of Copenhagen, in partnership with Superflex, brewed a batch of beer in the university's cafeteria. The group named the beer "Vores Øl" (Danish for "Our Beer"), inspired by a 1994 Carlsberg beer advertisement slogan. They launched a website to promote the project and released the beer’s recipe and label design under the Creative Commons CC BY-SA 2.5 license. Since cooking recipes are not protected by copyright, the share-alike licensing approach used is legally questionable and had not been tested in any court of law.

Free Beer[edit]

The developers of the beer stated that they wanted to raise awareness of the "dogmatic notions of copyright and intellectual property that are dominating our culture."[6] The group admitted to having limited experience with beer production. After the first batch of the open-source beer was brewed, Superflex continued developing the concept under the name "Free Beer" and designed a new label. Inspired by colourful aesthetics of the 1960s, it was meant to further underline the concept of freedom.[7] The name Free Beer is a play on Richard Stallman's quote about free software being “'free' as in 'free speech,' not as in 'free beer.'”[8]


The first Vores Øl recipe drew criticism from the homebrewing community for its lack of necessary instructions.[9] Community members were concerned the recipe had not outlined how much water to use in the mash, what type of yeast to use, the style of beer being produced (other than being dark and heavy), whether or not to add any hops, what the fermentation temperature should be, or how the beer was supposed to taste.[10]

Due to the free availability of the recipe, the recipe has been changed several times. Major Free Beer recipe iterations (v3.0 and v4.0) were developed in collaboration with a Danish brewery, Skands, in Brøndby.[11][12] The amount of sugar has been decreased by 90% to improve the quality of the beer.

Version Codename Date Brewery/Comments
"FREE BEER / FREE UKRAINE" August 9, 2022 Mikkeller and Warpigs in Copenhagen and Berryland Cidery in Ukraine[13]
8.0 May 31, 2022 Brewery 304 in Seoul[14]
6.0 "The Atlantic Brew" October 30, 2017 Summerskills brewery in Devonport, Plymouth[15]
4.1 August 25, 2010 Brewery in Huntington Beach, California
4.1 "Artspace" October 2008 Steam Brewing Company in Newton, New Zealand[16]
4.0 "SKANDS" September 2008 Skands Microbrewery in Brøndby, Denmark
3.5 "Hops & Barley" March 2008 By the Hops & Barley microbrewery Berlin, Germany[17]
3.4 "Germania" November 2007 Arnaldo Ribero, Germania brewery in São Paulo, Brazil[18]
3.3 "Linghzi" November 2007 Everything Mushroom, Knoxville, Tennessee
3.2 "St Austell" July 2007 St Austell Brewery in Cornwall, England
3.0 "Skands" June 2006 Skands Microbrewery in Brøndby, Denmark[19] (and more)[20]
2.1 "Apollo" August 2006 Apollo Microbrewery in Copenhagen[21]
1.5 "Samvirke" Suited for homebrewing
1.1 FREE BEER May 20, 2005 First time served under the name Free Beer at the Volksbühne[22][23]
1.0 "Vores Øl" December 2004[24] Brewed by students at the IT university in Copenhagen with Superflex


Known derivatives using the free license include:


Free Beer has received coverage in international print and digital media.[29][30][31] The brand has been discussed in books on copyright.[32] The project been written about by figures in the free software movement, including Cory Doctorow[33] and Lawrence Lessig.[5][2] In 2005, Superflex interviewed Richard Stallman on the project.[34]

Free Beer has been distributed at technology conferences, including Summit 2008 and RMLL 2011, 2012, and 2014.[27][35] The FSCONS 2008 resulted in an ebook that featured Free Beer.[36][37] Free Beer was also exhibited in art exhibitions and museums, such as the Art Basel Miami Beach 2006, the Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands in 2007, and the Taipei Biennial 2010.[38][4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Danish students launch open source and shareware beer". COPENHAGEN CAPACITY. 2004-12-30. Archived from the original on 2005-01-04. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  2. ^ a b Lessig, Lawrence (2006-09-01). "Free, as in Beer". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  3. ^ Drobnick, Jim (Winter 2018). "Bottles of Art, Works of Alcohol". Gastronomica. 18 (4): 54–70. doi:10.1525/gfc.2018.18.4.54. ISSN 1529-3262. JSTOR 26586442 – via JSTOR.
  4. ^ a b "Program". TAIPEI BIENNIAL. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  5. ^ a b Lessig, Lawrence (2008-08-04). "How much RMS has won". Lessig. Archived from the original on 2015-07-10. Retrieved 2015-07-08.
  6. ^ Harewood, Adrian (2005-07-21). "Danish offer a recipe for open source beer". CBC Radio. Archived from the original on 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2015-06-26.
  7. ^ Koch, Rasmus (2007-01-01). "Free Beer". Rasmus Koch Studio. Retrieved 2015-08-24. FREE BEER refers to information freedom, not economic freedom. [...] Designing a visual program for an idea [...] builds on a vivid and colorful reference to 60's liberation."
  8. ^ "What is Free Software?". GNU Project. Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  9. ^ "Free Beer That's Free as in Speech". Slashdot. 2005-07-25. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  10. ^ "Free Beer That's Free as in Speech". Slashdot. 2005-07-25. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  11. ^ "Photos of FREE BEER 3.0 at final production stage". FREE BEER. 2006-06-09. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  12. ^ "FREE BEER VERSION 4.0". FREE BEER. 2009-10-08. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  13. ^ "FREE BEER / FREE UKRAINE". FREE BEER. 2022-08-09. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  14. ^ "Free Beer version 8.0 – Brewery 304". FREE BEER. 2022-05-31. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  15. ^ "FREE BEER 6.0 – The Atlantic Brew". FREE BEER. 2017-10-30. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  16. ^ "SUPERFLEX". ARTSPACE. Archived from the original on 2019-02-15.
  17. ^ "FREE BEER macht sich schön für die re:publica". antischokke (in German). 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  18. ^ "Free Beer". BLOG BGT BIERGARTEN (in Brazilian Portuguese). 2009-01-16. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  19. ^ "Bryggeriet Skands". Bryggeriet Skands.
  20. ^ "2006 Status version 3.0". FREE BEER. 2007-01-10. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  21. ^ "Free Beer version 2.1 on the Apollo brewery in Copenhagen". FREE BEER. 2006-08-01. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  22. ^ Babcock, Jay (2005-05-22). "SUPERFLEX". Arthur Magazine. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  23. ^ Balzer, Jens (2005-05-23). "Wer will schon eine würdelose alte Frau?". Berliner Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  24. ^ "English info". Vores ØL. Archived from the original on 2004-12-23.
  25. ^ ""Free Beer" et "Le baiser de la princesse", les bières open source !". Free Tools (in French). 2008-05-03. Retrieved 2023-11-07.
  26. ^ "Le Baiser de la Princesse". Le Baiser de la Princesse. Archived from the original on 2008-05-17.
  27. ^ a b "RMLL has free beer (as in speech)". MCLD blog. 2011-07-15. Archived from the original on 2011-10-16. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
  28. ^ "Bière Libre – Free Beer". Guide Bière (in French). Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  29. ^ Boyd, Clark (2005-07-28). "'Free' Danish beer makes a splash". BBC NEWS. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  30. ^ Cohn, David (2005-07-18). "Free Beer for Geeks". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  31. ^ "Kopenhagen: Studenten brauen Open-Source-Bier". Der Spiegel (in German). 2005-07-20. ISSN 2195-1349. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  32. ^ Fiona, Macmillan, ed. (2007). New Directions in Copyright Law, Volume 6. Edward Elgar Publishing. pp. 69–70. ISBN 9781782543718. Retrieved 2015-08-25.
  33. ^ Doctorow, Cory (2006-06-09). "Danish hackers launch Free Beer 3.0, with guarana". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  34. ^ Moltke, Henrik (2005). "Richard Stallman on FREE BEER". SUPERFLEX. Archived from the original on 2011-10-13.
  35. ^ "Bière Libre". 13es Rencontres Mondiales du Logiciel Libre (RMLL), Genève 2012. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26.
  36. ^ "FREE BEER book out now". FREE BEER. 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2024-01-12.
  37. ^ "FREE BEER". FSCONS. Retrieved 2024-01-11.
  38. ^ "Cultural and Creative projects". Taipei Fine Arts Museum. 2010-01-13. Retrieved 2024-01-12.

External links[edit]