Posted by: commonsresource | April 28, 2010

Free Beer? – (OR) Hopworks Urban Brewery Open Sources its Gigabit IPA

The Free Software Definition found under the Philosophy tab on the gnu.org website begins with the following sentence:

“Free software” is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free beer.”

Since this articulation of the concept of freedom is a key touchstone of the Free and Open Source Software movement, it is fun yet somewhat confusing to see commons sourcing approaches increasingly applied to beer. One of the lastest examples is featured in a post on the Northwest Beer Guide (aka, The Pickled Liver) blog entitled (OR) Hopworks Urban Brewery Has Gone Open-Source with Their Gigabit IPA.   According to the gigabitipa site referenced in the post:

When Google invited America to get inspired by gigabit fiber technology, Portland’s innovative geek and brewer communities responded by creating a fresh and edgy organic beer to answer Google’s call. Portland Gigabit IPA offers a massive NW hop aroma, rich citrus and pine accents aggressively balanced with clear malt caramel flavor, and a deep, clean, satisfying finish.

We believe in the opportunity offered by gigabit fiber networks for Portland and for communities everywhere. We’re “opening the source code” so you can home brew a Gigabit IPA all your own. (It’s fiber-to-the-home, right?) Sam Adams • Mayor, City of Portland, Oregon

Learn more about Gigabit IPA here: http://www.portlandfiber.com/2010/03/31/hopworks-gigabit-ipa-announcement

While my mind may still be a little bit fuzzy after hanging out with a friend last night over a pint of Barking Squirrel Lager, perhaps it is time for the definition to now read “free” as in “free speech,” not as in “free non-open source beer”!


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