Now, before you get too excited (and as you might know if you are familiar with the ways of SUPERFLEX), "free beer" does not mean no-cost sudsy beverages. Instead, it's about applying the open-source movement to things other than software. The name plays on free software activist Richard Stallman's famed quote: “’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.'”
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"The project applies modern free software/open source methods to a traditional real-world product to suggest how the 'know how' or intellectual property related to such products might be collectively owned and how this can then become a viable economic model," reads a statement from SUPERFLEX. The recipe is published under a Creative Commons license that has allowed for the recipe to be brewed and modified across the world, in places including Taipei, Sao Paolo, Los Angeles, Munich, Knoxville, and, currently, Phoenix. Anyone who brews it is free to earn profit from "free beer."
SUPERFLEX is in town for the opening of its ASU Art Museum exhibition, "Superfake/The Parley," which has an free opening reception on Friday, January 8, starting at 4 p.m. With a work attributed to American Western artist Frederic Remington as its impetus, the exhibition explores both how art is valued and issues of authenticity.
As an after-party for the reception from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Welcome Chicken + Donuts will serve up Mother Bunch and Flowers' batch of "free beer," which nixes the recipe's use of Guarana due to FDA reuglations surrounding caffeinated alcoholic beverages. To make up for that tweak in the formula, Welcome will offer Guarana doughnuts.
"What will happen if people dunk their donuts in their beer?! Or mix it all up together in their mouths as they pair the beer and the donut?!" asks Sloane McFarland of Welcome in a release. "We shall see."