FOSDEM '09 is a free and non-commercial event organized by the community, for the community. Its goal is to provide Free and Open Source developers a place to meet.


Announcing Beer Distribution v3.1

This Friday, 6 February 2009, the annual FOSDEM Beer Event will take place at the Delirium Café near the Grand'Place in Brussels. Be there!

With a large crowd such as ours, distributing beer is challenging both in terms of latency (getting beer to geeks as quickly as possible) and in terms of throughput (getting as much beer to as many geeks as possible).

Like every year, we have made some improvements and optimizations to the now notorious Beer Distribution Algorithm. Please familiarize yourself with BDAv3.1 as described here and help us make this event the greatest ever.

What has changed

Access control

This year, we have reserved the ground floor of the bar (which has also been expanded since last year) as a private party for FOSDEM. Delirium Security will help us keep this area FOSDEM-only. If you meet a guard at the entrance to the bar, make it clear to him that you are there for the FOSDEM party.

Tokens for beer

Last year's system of pre-paying for beer and marking people with dots worked very well. We are improving on this method by introducing "tokens". When you arrive at the bar, find a member of FOSDEM staff (look for yellow tshirts). In exchange for money, you will receive "beer tokens".

Tokens are 3EUR each. One token, one beer. For the sake of simplicity, "soda" (cola, lemonade, etc) is beer too. Tokens may be bought individually, but FOSDEM staff prefers to deal with paper money rather than metal money. It's lighter and easier to sort.

Free Beer!

Possibly the coolest improvement to this year's edition: Google has kindly offered to sponsor some Free Beer to the geeks attending our Beer Event! To ensure a fair distribution of Free Beer, and not just a bulk distribution to early birds or similar, Free Beer will be distributed periodically throughout the evening until it runs out.

What has not changed

Quality of Service

To keep latencies low and throughput high, we need everyone's help. The easiest way to keep things going smoothly is for everyone to implement a transmit and receive window. Do not order individual beers -- order beers for people around you too! Trays will be made available to efficiently move more than one beer from the bar to where they are needed. Similarly, when ordering beer, please take a moment to collect any empty glasses around you on a tray and send them back to be bar with whoever is ordering beer.

Laws of Physics

Sadly, even the FOSDEM Beer Event is subject to some basic laws of physics. We were unable to get an exception for the principle that no two solid objects can occupy the same space at the same time. If you find the bar getting too crowded, it might help to go for dinner and come back. The bar will be open until 06:00. While FOSDEM staff will stop distributing tokens sometime after midnight (we have a conference to set up early in the morning), the tokens will be valid all night and after tokens run out, beer can be exchanged directly for cash too (same prices).

A note of caution

Unlike some other beers, Belgian beer is not just coloured water. Some beers contain significant quantities of alcohol and will give you a pounding hangover. FOSDEM staff is not responsible for any hallucinations you may experience as a result of this event. :-)

See you Friday!

Be there!

A lot of work has gone into making this beer event the best ever. We've taken into account the suggestions from previous years and are confident that this edition will be a blast. Bring your friends and join us for a great evening out!

Contact and location

If you manage to get lost somehow, despite this handy little map, call Philip. He might not be able to help you find the way, but he should be able to find someone who can! :-)