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Free (As In Speech) Beer, V2.0 266

Posted by kdawson
from the brewed-awakening dept.
AgentPaper writes "Three years ago we discussed an open source brewing project in which a Danish brewer made his beer recipes available for public consumption and alteration. The concept has taken off, first with the 'Free Beer Project' in Denmark and now with Flying Dog's 'Collaborator' Doppelbock in the US, which was created via input from home brewers across the world. One version of the Collaborator is commercially brewed and available for purchase (and is darned tasty), but you can download the same recipe and labels, brew it yourself, and submit your mods back to the project."
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Free (As In Speech) Beer, V2.0

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:00AM (#23389204)
    It's fine and dandy to have Free (as in Speech) Beer, but I would certainly be better off with Free (as in Beer) Beer.

    Free beer is only free if your time is worth nothing.
    • by Xiph (723935) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:21AM (#23389278)
      When you make it yourself, it's close to half price of regular beer and often the result is better. For the experienced brewer often becomes almost always.

      When you brew beer commercially, it becomes very important to make same beer every time, and to make something which easy to consume.
      The consumer beer is lighter (in colour and taste), because that's what you can drink in large quantities.

      If you want beer full of flavour, the price goes up, or you have to make it yourself.
      • by tgatliff (311583) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @07:09AM (#23389466)
        I have made beer for many years (extract and all grain), and I can tell you that most real ales and lagers, the best you can do is about break even. Meaning, on the high end side of beers, you can do allot better because their transportation costs kill them, but for many of the domestic beers its very close... I will admit that all grain brewing is cheaper than extract, but... Well you get my point...

        Anyway, the reason I still brew my own beer is simply because I think the quality is better, just as I think OSS is as well. Most import beers ae oxidized quite heavily by the time you get them, just as with most commercial software (Vista comes to mind here) is as well, but if you brew it completely on your own, especially with natural carbonation, then that living beer can last for at least a decade. For OSS, it actually is allot longer... :)
        • by timmarhy (659436) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @07:43AM (#23389630)
          eh, only break even? what the hell are you brewing with? hops for a single brew cost about $8, grain costs about $10 ( 5kgs). add in about $4 for CO2 and gas. that's $22 (AUD) for 20L of beer. in real terms that's a bit over 2 slabs which would normally cost up to $60 - $80.

          there is an initial outlay, lets be generous and say you got a keg system with 2 kegs a filter CO2 regulator and all the bits and pieces. you can pick those up on ebay for $400. that gear would pay for itself after 10.5 batches. thats not even taking into account the fact you can resell the equipment later on, and most probably recoup 60% or better of the cost (kegs go up in price, not down)

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward
            Well over here we pay like 6 EUR/10 AUD for a crate with 10 Litres of drinkable beer, double the price if you want a 10 Litres of really good beer. And thats after the prices rose by over 30%. Its hard to even reach the break even. The only reason to really brew yourself is for the taste. Selfmade Beer is always better. Thanks, Mr. Placebo ;)

            But the next best thing to brewing yourself is taking a brewery tour, free beverages and food, yay :) And all that 20 Minutes away ^^
          • HICK! (Score:3, Funny)

            by AndGodSed (968378)
            OOF! sho shorry... I loshed you after... after you shed 20litersh... of beersh... HAECK!

            shay again pleesh... ...mmmmm...good head...
          • by paanta (640245) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @08:47AM (#23389962) Homepage
            I agree that it's cheaper, but only if you drink a fair amount of beer and if you're not factoring in your time. It's a couple of hours of work to brew a 5 gallon batch, which with what I value my time, is a fair amount of money. Factor in the 10 square feet of floor area in my house taken up by all my brewing crap, at say $15/sf/yr. And the time spent reading about brewing. And worrying about every batch like it's my child. And the electricity used by your kegerator.

            On the other hand, it's damn hard to find a better beer than what you make at home. Perhaps other homebrewers have had the experience of drinking almost solely their own beer for a year or two, then going somewhere and having a beer you used to think was the bee's knees only to find it a flavorless, depressing swill. Or going somewhere and drinking a beer that you used to find good-but-overwhelming (Dogfish Head 90 minute?) and finding it a whole lot more easy to drink.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              It's a couple of hours of work to brew a 5 gallon batch, which with what I value my time, is a fair amount of money.
              Its a hobby, if you dont enjoy it dont do it. Time is valuable but if you go through life punching a virtual timecard you will be miserable in the end.
              • I think his point was more that if he were to figure out how much it all cost, it definitely wouldn't be 'good value' on purely monetary terms - but the fact that he's "worrying about every batch like it's [his] child" suggests that maybe, just maybe, he's enjoying it immensely already?

                • by Shagg (99693)
                  Yeah, it's a hobby. You should be doing it because you enjoy it. Saving money is just a nice side benefit.

                  However, if homebrewing is costing you more than commercial beer, you must be doing something wrong. It should be a lot cheaper, even factoring in equipment costs over time, etc.
              • by nizo (81281) *
                Though unlike stamp collecting your brewing hobby can get you drunk. But I suppose if you ate enough stamps the glue might cause some kind of hallucinatory experience.
            • Time is money! (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Tony (765) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @09:28AM (#23390272) Journal
              Do you go to the movies? If so, do you factor in the price of your time along with the tickets and popcorn?

              When drinking beer, do you factor in the time it takes to drink it, as well as the cost of the beer itself? How about going out to dinner? Do you tack on an additional $100/hr for your time?

              How do you pay yourself? It seems like it would get a bit circular. "Hey, Self, here's the $100 I owe you for the last hour. Don't spend it all in one place, you know you have payroll coming up in an hour!"
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward
                The discussion was comparing the cost of home production to the cost of purchasing beer, not the cost of consuming beer. And yes, drinking beer consumes time which could be used in other ways. When studying economic efficiency it makes sense to think of time spent in terms of currency but that is not the only metric by which time can be valued. You are correct to think that time can be valuable based on our own satisfaction but it is still interesting to compare production costs of beer with the price we
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by DFJA (680282)

                When drinking beer, do you factor in the time it takes to drink it, as well as the cost of the beer itself? How about going out to dinner? Do you tack on an additional $100/hr for your time?

                My time costs £100 per hour, so you can be very sure that for a 20-minute pint I'm not going to be drinking some cheap, nasty rubbish. In fact the more slowly I intend to drink it, the more expensive I go. Cheap and nasty beer should only be drunk in a hurry, preferably without stopping to pay a visit to your taste buds.

          • by tgatliff (311583) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @09:08AM (#23390120)
            Listen, we might looking at this for a different perspective... Can you make beer cheap??? Absolutely.... Can you do that to match the exact quality of a true premium... That is allot harder...

            Realistically, from my experience to get the same quality and consistency of true premium ales/lagers there are allot of things required. Excluding lagers, the cost of yeast starter prep work, mash tuns, water purifying/ph correction/mineral corrections... Even with ales you must keep the at the optimum fermentation range of 65F during the entire primary ferment. This takes equipment, time, and cost which all most be figured in. Also, keep in mind that the cost of time is a big one. Also, it must spend several weeks in the secondary being monitored for clarity, and depending on the type of grain might need additional clarification related items/procedures. Once again... Time and Expense... Third, the time and expense to bottle as I general do not like artificial CO2 because for most premiums it alters the unique living beer taste... I could go on, because I hope you are seeing my point... Making beer is easy... Making true high end beers (which is where the true savings is) is not...

            In short... I do this because I do believe it makes a difference and I appreciate the added quality of taste, but I really do not pretend by saying that I save money by doing it. I am constantly reminded with the amount of equipment, and the space it takes up, that saving much money is unlikely...
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by nakajoe (1123579)
              Like all hobbies, it takes time, but you can sure save money, and can also make beer every bit as good as commercial offerings. Of course it takes skill to make really great beer, but it's very doable. Money-wise, I haven't spent a cent on equipment in over a year, and have probably spent $100 on grain, $30 on hops, $20 on CO2, and $40 on propane. For a YEAR, drinking 2-3 glasses per day. I ferment underground, or in a closet where the temp is already ok. I bought yeast once and only once, a couple years a
          • by siwelwerd (869956)
            Where can you get grain for $1 a pound? I can't get it anywhere near that cheap--do you buy in bulk or something? Also, throw on top of that a $10 package of yeast, not to mention cleaning/sanitizing supplies. I tend to spend $50-$60 on a batch, though I could probably get that down some if I ever made a beer with an OG of under 1.050.
            • by Shagg (99693)
              Are you talking US dollars? Where do you shop, those prices sound really high. I don't think I've ever spent $50 - $60 for a batch. Even extract brewing is cheaper than that.
              • by siwelwerd (869956)
                At a local homebrew store (here, if you're curious: http://www.wineandbeermaking.com/ [wineandbeermaking.com]). A 3 lb bag of DME will run $13-14. So 7 lbs of DME ($33), a bit of hops ($5-10), yeast ($8 or so), maybe a few speacialty grains ($2-5) and I'm up to $50 easy. That doesn't factor in the things I don't buy every batch either (e.g. PBW, starsan, corn sugar, bottle caps).
        • by malsdavis (542216)
          You must have been using some expensive extract. I've been 'homebrewing' for years and must have saved a small fortune during that time. I've even made some cash a few times selling the odd gallon to mates and such. I sometimes use grain but most of the time I just use malt extract because I'm lazy.

          All in all I reckon an average batch using purchased extract costs me around half that of the same amount of averaged-priced beer. A massive saving for someone who drinks as much beer as I do!
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          Not if you live in Canada. Here in Ontario, the cheapest 24 is $24. Anything remotely decent costs $30 for a 24. Most good beers are at least $35. A case of Guinness costs about $50, last time I checked.
          • by tgatliff (311583)
            Yes, I know that the home brewing community is Canada is allot larger than in the US, which I really think it neat.

            I heard in the news that California is considering an alcohol tax increase, so I suspect as the US economy continues to turn sour, that other states will increase their taxes as well... I am not a big fan of adding taxes, but it would nice if there were "incentives" to help foster more of a home brewing community in the US... Right now probably 85% of the people who do it just do it a couple
      • by oliderid (710055)
        Well it all depends of the beer we are talking about. If you meant pils you are right. I'm personnally a fan of trappist beers (orval, chimay) or abbey beer such as Leffe. All are quite heavy (6% to 9% I think). Sure it costs slightly more but I don't drink much (one per week) anyway.
        • Get yerself some Rochefort [wikipedia.org] - especially the 10. Yes, it's stupidly strong, but you're definitely not supposed to gulp it down like cheap lager. It's gorgeous on a cold winter's night, around Christmas...

          I'd go on to recommend other Belgian Trappist beers of note, but the answer is basically 'all of them'. I've still to find any Westvleteren [wikipedia.org], but I think that'll involve a special trip to the brewery...

          (Note: I live in Belgium, so I can get weird beers that Americans lust after down at my local supermarket, r
          • by oliderid (710055)
            I'm Belgian ;-) Concerning a good beer around christmas...What about a Maredsous [wikipedia.org], the cheese of the same name and a baguette? Or if the winter is too harsch a good Rochefort 10 and a onions soups [allrecipes.com] with melting cheese. Oh God...I feel a bit of nostalgia...Miss my native ardennes.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Nitewing98 (308560)
        Mom always taught me that anything you could buy at the store or a restaurant could be made cheaper at home. In the late 60's and early 70's I watched her make cheese, can jelly and pickles, bake bread, and try winemaking.

        Because of that, I sometimes bake bread, love to cook, and have started making my own pickles.

        I think the idea of applying the FOSS method to recipes is brilliant!
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by cp.tar (871488)

          I think the idea of applying the FOSS method to recipes is brilliant!

          Especially since the idea of FOSS comes from recipes.

          My father and my grandparents also can various foodstuffs at home, and the quality is vastly superior to anything you can buy in a store.
          But it takes quite a bit of time.

        • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @08:21AM (#23389832) Homepage Journal
          My wife, who grew up in a Communist Eastern European country (yes, I bought her on the internet) spent most of her life with food and drink that is made at home. As an American IdiotTM, I grew up suspicious of any food that didn't come wrapped in plastic or aluminum.

          I can even remember as a kid, wanting to go to McDonalds and my mom saying "I'll make you a nice hamburger here at home" and I'd be really upset because I preferred a skinny, greasy Golden Arches meat cookie to the fat, lovely fresh burger my mom would make. Needless to say, there's not much I wouldn't give for another burger (or anything else) made by my mom.

          I can tell you, after the years I've spent married, that's changed. When I have that deep gnawing need for sustenance, I go look for an unlabeled jar in the basement first. There are few things edible or drinkable that I'm not certain could be done better at home, with love, than in a factory by workers in white overalls and hairnets.

          Have you ever had home made root beer or fig preserves? Just thinking about all these things has me drooling on myself as I sit here at 7am.
          • by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @09:34AM (#23390310) Homepage
            My Grandfather used to make homemade rootbeer. From what I remember it was quite a bit better than the store bought stuff. We also make a lot of home made food, that most people would just get out of a can. Home made soups and sauces taste quite a bit better than what you get at the store, and are a lot more healthier. Even the low sodium soups at the store contain more salt than most people would put in a home made soup. Real home made food just tastes a lot better. Sadly, I think a lot of people don't realize, or forget just how much better home cooking is.
          • by Deagol (323173)
            I heartily second this sentiment.

            Not only are home-prepared foods a huge leap in quality over pre-fab foods, but home-raised foods take it yet another notch.

            For example, even when the cabbage is not home-grown, sour kraut made from fresh cabbage from the store is phenomenally more tasty than the dead crap that comes in a jar/can on the grocer shelf. If you're not only bold, but also daring, pack a batch of kraut which is 1 part red cabbage to 3 parts white. The color and flavor after a month in the cr

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by gosand (234100)
        When you make it yourself, it's close to half price of regular beer and often the result is better. For the experienced brewer often becomes almost always.

        When you brew beer commercially, it becomes very important to make same beer every time, and to make something which easy to consume.
        The consumer beer is lighter (in colour and taste), because that's what you can drink in large quantities.

        If you want beer full of flavour, the price goes up, or you have to make it yourself.

        It's sad that people still think

        • by Shagg (99693)
          Could I save a few dollars by home brewing? Maybe.. but let's not forget all the "learning" batches, the time it takes, and the waiting! Oh, the waiting!

          I always say that the most difficult thing to learn about brewing is patience. ;)

          Find a homebrew club in your area, or just a local brewer (most of them are really friendly and happy to help out a beginner), and it will cut way down on the learning curve. It's really not that difficult to make beer as good as or better than anything you can buy in the stor
    • Free (as in Beer) Beer.

      Change your nick to GoodAnalogyGuy - there is no analogy that is not improved with a beer analoguy.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Only if you promise to change yours to !Whiney Mac Fanboy.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Hi, I'm a Mac [photobucket.com]

        You have to promise to get rid of the link to that scary, scary picture in your .sig first!!!!
  • by dbIII (701233) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:06AM (#23389220)
    ... was free beer recipies. It was "The Jolly Brewer" in postscript format made by people on alt.rec.brewing some time in the late 1980's or early 1990s. It was certainly before the web came along in 1992.
    • I remember that! I had just gotten my start with homebrewing and I found quite a few of the free recipes a big help as I learned and grew my repetoire.

      I've always thought of homebrewing to be a bit like Open Source anyways. The vast majority of brewers I know are more than happy to share their recipes and secrets with fellow brewers. It's an activity that lends itself to collaboration.
  • by KDR_11k (778916) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:07AM (#23389226)
    In some jurisdictions you need a license to brew beer. I doubt that's included...
    • by Gordonjcp (186804)
      Like where? A licence to mix water, sugar and yeast? That's just about the stupidest thing you could ever require.
      • by jimicus (737525) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:38AM (#23389354)

        Like where? A licence to mix water, sugar and yeast? That's just about the stupidest thing you could ever require.
        My, my, what is the world coming to when people can't even get the ingredients in beer right.

        Water, hops, malt, yeast. That's all it is.
        • by aliquis (678370)
          The weird thing with that is that Carlsberg says they have "probably the best beer in the world" but the ingredient list only lists malt and yeast, no hops, what's up with that!!?
      • Like where? A licence to mix water, sugar and yeast? That's just about the stupidest thing you could ever require.
        Honestly officer. I was only making some bread for my poor old granny!

        • by mgblst (80109)
          Yeah, a couple of kegs of bread.
          • by Chelloveck (14643)
            Well, Granny has bad teeth, you know, and can't chew properly. I'm just making it in liquid form so the dear sainted lady doesn't starve to death.
      • by popmaker (570147) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:44AM (#23389378)
        As far as I know, all the ingredients required to make amphetamine are legal. Mixing them is not, though.
        • Not quite.

          Depending on which synthesis technique you are talking about, some of the ingredients (red phosphorus, phenylacetone, hydriodic acid, methylamine, etc.) will be "listed precursor chemicals", regulated by the DEA.

          And under federal (and some state) laws, mere POSSESSION of pseudoephedrine cold medicine along with one or more of the other ingredients can be enough to face a "conspiracy to manufacture" charge. You don't have to actually mix anything (or even intend to do so) in order to become a victi
      • by Faylone (880739) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:50AM (#23389400)
        Utah seems to require one, even for personal brewing, although if you're wanting to sell it commercially, I think you have to register with the ATF as they will want to TAX you. http://www.atf.gov/alcohol/info/faq/beer.htm [atf.gov] has more info
      • by Wizard Drongo (712526) <wizard_drongo.yahoo@co@uk> on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @07:16AM (#23389500)
        Think that's bad?
        Ever since the English got control of Scotland, it's illegal to distill whisky without a (extremely expensive) licence.
        And what is Scotland most famous for?

        Literally, if I pay a few thousand pounds, I can have a licence to make as much whisky as is humanly possible. About $10,000 I think.
        Yet if I make 100ml of moonshine for my own consumption, I can go to jail for 10 years.
        • by MosesJones (55544)
          And what is Scotland most famous for?

          Hang on I know this one... its inventing the Telephone? or is it TV? Anaesthetics? Hell I give up its a massive list [magicdragon.com]

          In conjunction with alcohol however the Scots are most famous for drinking the brewing is just the process you have to do to get to being drunk. Waiting to distil a decent malt is just a waste of time when their are cans of Special available.
        • by dkleinsc (563838)
          But now a Scot has control over England. So shouldn't you guys get revenge by outlawing ale or something like that?
        • by zsau (266209)
          Actually, I think the only western country that allows distilling scotch whisky or, indeed, any distilled drink, without paying an expensive licence is New Zealand. People who come from colder climes can accidentally leave their brew in the snow if they want it a bit stronger, but if you want to do it properly, you'll be struggling to find a plausible explanation for it.
      • by MrHanky (141717) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @07:41AM (#23389616) Homepage Journal
        Homebrewing beer is illegal in Alabama, for one. It can even get you into actual trouble [freethehops.org].
        • I assume this is the code that was quoted to the guy:

          Ala. Code 28-1-1 - "In all counties of the state it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to have in his or its possession any still or apparatus to be used for the manufacture of any alcoholic beverage of any kind or any alcoholic beverage of any kind illegally manufactured or transported within the state or imported into the state from any other place without authority of the alcoholic control board of the state, and any person, firm or

    • No, that's crazy. You don't need a license or anything to brew beer in your home for personal use. Federal post-prohibition laws specifically allow for home breweries, and some limits to the amount (200 gallons per year).

      Due to this specific Federal law, there is not state or local jurisdiction that can get away with outlawing it.

  • by patio11 (857072) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:09AM (#23389240)
    ... listen to the bug reports for this one.

    "*slurrred* We've been waiting on RC2 for years now and you still haven't fixed B..b..bug #272 Sporadic Bubble Popping. Lazy bastards, I'd fork if I could tell the difference between a fork and a spoon right now."
  • Much like Free coke & Linux, i love the idea but they haven't managed to break the OEM monopoly(ok Linux is doing it slowly) meaning that unless you want to make your own, which can be tricky and may not work/taste as well/good as a premade one.
    Unfortunately it looks like its just for enthusiasts, unless they can make it significantly better than the competition and get OEMs to offer it (e.g much better performance/usability on small systems). Unfortunately for beer/coke there is no metric as its down t
    • Disregard that it seams sleep deprivation has kicked in and i switched threads from beer to coke half way through that post, I dont think that there are any ethical issues around beer companies, but my point stands that there is no way to get the beer easily (e.g at your pub)
    • by Jurily (900488)
      I'm waiting for the LiveCD brewery.
  • Beer isn't software (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:31AM (#23389310)
    There are many of us who brew beer as a hobby. We have competitions. We help each other. We trade recipes and equipment. Some of us are a bit stingy with our beer though.

    There are university courses on beer making. Beer making is well understood. It is not at all like programming. All of the effort is in the programming, once the program is written, that's it, you're done. Beer recipes are fairly simple programs that don't change all that much between beers that are quite different. The goodness of the beer is determined by the skill of the brewer. Given the same recipe, two of us will produce different tasting beers.

    How you heat and cool your beer determines how the different enzymes will work and that determines how the beer tastes (in addition to the obvious hops and barley). The exact temperature profile is a function of your equipment. Beer made in a large batch with steam heat and water cooling will be different from my five gallon batches.

    Beer is a craft. It isn't the same as software because the same program (recipe) won't always produce the same result. The program I wrote yesterday will run the same any time of year. Beer, on the other hand, cares when I make it. Around here, we don't brew between May and October.

    Creating an open source beer project ... I don't see the point.
    • by Tx (96709) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:43AM (#23389368) Journal
      Beer is a craft. It isn't the same as software because the same program (recipe) won't always produce the same result. The program I wrote yesterday will run the same any time of year. Beer, on the other hand, cares when I make it. Around here, we don't brew between May and October.

      The conditions under which the brewing occurs are part of the "program", and the same program certainly should always produce the same results. If you don't have control of some of your initial variables, then you will get varying results, whether you're talking software or beer.
    • by wrook (134116) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:58AM (#23389416) Homepage
      As an avid brewer, I agree with your points, but not your conclusion.

      One of the biggest challenges to improving your brewing is brewing to style. But style definitions are imprecise and very subjective. That's why all the style definitions come with commercial beer reference points. Dry Irish Stout - Guinness. Bohemian Pilsner - Pilsner Urquel.

      With these references, anyone who has access to commercial beer can learn more about the style. They can try to intentionally brew a beer in that style. However you're still in a bind. Let's say Fuller's London Porter is considered a reference for "London Porter" - how would I go about brewing that specific style? What grain bill should I play with? Is roast barley appropriate? Where on the hop scale should I be?

      The more information I can get about a commercial beer, the better off I am when I try to make beers like it. Sure, I'm not likely to be able to make a clone without a huge amount of work. But it's a good starting point for learning.

      A commercial brewer that gives up this information is inviting the amateur brewer to share in the creation process. They are saying, "Please try to make something like this." And while not the same as the 4 freedoms in free software, I find the sentiment similar.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shagg (99693)
        One of the biggest challenges to improving your brewing is brewing to style.

        It depends on what your goal is. If you want to enter a competition that scores based on adherence to style, then yes, brewing to style will improve your beer. If your goal is just to make good beer, then style doesn't really matter.
    • by WilyCoder (736280)
      "The program I wrote yesterday will run the same any time of year."

      I take it you haven't done parallel programming....;-)
  • microsoft (Score:4, Funny)

    by mapleneckblues (1145545) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @06:34AM (#23389328)
    waiting for someone to bring microsoft into this discussion... its not a matter of if, but how and when
    "1 pint ought to be enough for everyone"
    • by popmaker (570147) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @07:00AM (#23389422)
      I think it's when they start offering "Microsoft beer (TM)", that tastes suspiciously like Open Beer, although not quite the same. And it has a small dog on the label, and every fourth can explodes when you open it.

      Not to mention that the newest beer only comes in ten-liter cans and you need to buy a larger fridge to store them.
      • by Yetihehe (971185)
        And when you try to make your own beer, they hire Steve Donkeykong to throw barrels at you.
        • by bytesex (112972)
          And monkeyboy shouting: Brewers Brewers Brewers ! And Bill Gates saying: 640 microliters ought to be enough for everybody. And an irritating alcohol-hole at always the same position in the can. And a EULA before you open the can (opening it, is agreeing with it) - no dispensing information about the taste or colour of it. And being only allowed to store it in an approved fridge. Ah what the hell.
      • by ciaohound (118419) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @08:47AM (#23389964)
        and there's a confusing license scheme for the various degrees of crippledness:
        MS Beer Home Edition -- available only as a six-pack.
        MS Small Beer Server
        MS Beer Enterprise Edition
        MS BeerCE -- tastes like water but at least it's potable, er, portable.

        And don't forget MS Trace, for counting the number of hops.
      • 10L gross, 500mL net. Only from Microsoft!
    • "1 pint ought to be enough for everyone"
      And just when I was looking for a way to commit karmic suicide...
  • In other new, I have a number of free (as in beer) speeches I'm willing to share with you guys.
  • There are many more (Score:4, Informative)

    by ebbe11 (121118) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @07:08AM (#23389456)
    Many if not most Danish home-brewers share their recipes using beercalc [haandbryg.dk]. There are over 8000 recipes here. Unfortunately for most of the readers on /. comments are usually in Danish.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @07:31AM (#23389588)
    I've been home brewing for nearly 20 years.

    In my experience:

    1. Most brewers (home and professional) have always been willing if not eager to share their recipes with other brewers.

    2. Those brewers who do zealously guard their secret recipes usually don't make very good beer, and you wouldn't want their recipes anyway.

  • How long before bottles say "Brewed Under License" referring to the GPL (GNU Pub License)?

    --
    Open Source Beer requires old boots...
  • by famazza (398147) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <onirazzam.oibaf>> on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @07:59AM (#23389706) Homepage Journal
    Since November, a brazilian brewer, Germania, is offering bottled free (as in speech) beer. The version is 3.4, and it seems to be good.
  • We'll never be able to explain the GPL, now that "free as in beer" is the same as "free as in speech". This is a disaster, I tell you! Dido and Enterly will be all over this, and we'll never hear the end of it.

    Next thing you know, they'll open a bazaar in the local cathedral, and it'll *all* be over.
  • When you are makeing all don't put to much yeast in like the 3 stooges did.
  • Am I all alone? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by filthpickle (1199927)
    I worked at a liquor store as an easy 2nd job a few years ago. They sold craft beers and I tried just about every one and really enjoyed a lot of them. Still do enjoy them, but I can also drink cheap beer and still enjoy it.

    Is there anyone else that likes craft beer, but still likes some domestic big brewery beer? I can't be the only one that is happy with an Aventinus, but would also be happy with a High Life. Markedly less happy, but still happy.

    I can't stop drinking Oberon the last few weeks, but I went
  • There is much more information available out there on how to brew beer. Most of that is just plain public domain, so without the restrictions GPL gives you.

    What will be next? Applepie?
  • Free as in beer? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ChameleonDave (1041178) * on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @10:52AM (#23391116) Homepage

    This sort of thing just shows how stupid the whole "free as in beer" v "free as in speech" thing is.

    Beer is not free "as in beer". You have the pay for the stuff. It is, on the other hand, something that anyone can make and sell in a traditional manner without worrying about infringing any sort of patent or intellectual property belonging to the ancient people who invented it.

    Speech is not free "as in speech". If I go and write a story about wizards called Harry and Dumbledore, I'll get sued. If I lie to your boss that you've been stealing from work and you get fired, I'll get sued.

    We don't need such weird terms. "Free" in the first sense is simply an abbreviation of "free of charge", so just don't abbreviate it if you want to be clear. The Latin term "gratis" is also well-known in English.

    If you absolutely insist on a term to specifically say the opposite, then "liber" is the perfect Latin counterpart to "gratis". There is also the derivative "liberal" which has several senses connected to freedom and generosity, and would be quite sufficient.

    • by Vegeta99 (219501)
      Beer isn't free?

      You must be a real dick or something, because I know people (even my bartender at my favorite bar!) that every once in a while give me free beer out of the goodness of their hearts. That's Free As In Beer software - they're giving it away, even though it may have value.

  • by siwelwerd (869956) on Tuesday May 13, 2008 @11:09AM (#23391296)
    Slightly off topic, but close enough. Two microbreweries, Avery and Russian River were both producing beers called "Salvation". So instead of suing each other, they got together and blended the two beers and started marketing it as "Collaboration not Litigation". Great beer, great story, and the proceeds are going towards an educational trip to Belgium for the brewers.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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