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How a Music Festival is Turning Pee Into Brewing’s Next Big Thing

“From Piss to Pilsner” is closing the loop on two of the most recognizable features of large outdoor concerts: beer and urine.

image via (cc) flickr user landfeldt

Typically, when someone says their beer tastes like piss, that’s taken to be a bad thing. But for attendees at a recent music festival, comparing a sudsy brew with its biologically inevitable after-effect isn’t an insult at all. In fact, that’s exactly what festival organizers are aiming for.

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Is the Beer You’re Drinking Problematic?

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Illustration by Tyler Hoehne

Mike Babb was born in Golden, Colorado, in the shadow of the monolithic Coors Brewing Company. He worked at Coors for 20 years, the third generation of his family to do so. During what he calls a sabbatical, he went to Weihenstephan, part of the Technical University of Munich in Germany, where he learned the craft of a master brewer. After teaching at the Siebel Institute, a prestigious brewing program in Chicago, Babb relocated to Michigan. He helped design a new joint higher education degree program at the Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University that’s set to kick off later this year: a four-year Bachelor’s degree in sustainable brewing. The first 30 credit hours at KVCC will give the students a brewing certificate, with hands on classes in an experimental brewing kitchen, along with an associate’s degree that they can transfer to WMU for a more rigorous scientific focus in the second two years.

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Brewmasters Turn To DNA Analysis To Make Better Beer

Beer makers adopt a high tech solution to one of brewing’s oldest problems.

image via (cc) flickr user thomashawk

When it comes to beer, I don’t have a particularly discerning palate. “Cold” and “not too much foam” are pretty much my only criteria for whether or not I’ll drink a pint (and even then I’m pretty flexible). But, at the end of the day, I’d like to think I have enough sense of taste to know the difference between “good” beer and “bad,” even if I couldn’t necessarily tell you why.

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