Microbrews Meet Microgravity

By Wesley Griffin | September 30, 2010 | 0 Comments |
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Last year, we told you about Japanese brewer Sapporo and its efforts to expand the limits of the Beer Universe… literally.  They released a special brew called “Space Barley”, so named because the seeds of its barley had been flying at 17,000 miles per hour on the International Space Station for five months.  They sold the beer for what even the most serious connoisseurs would have to consider a premium: over $100 per 6-pack! 

Now, we’re taking another one small step for man to be able to drink in space.  Space.com reports that an Australian beer from the Sydney suburbs’ 4 Pines Brewing Company will soon be tested under orbital conditions in the care of Astronauts4Hire, a non-profit organization that conducts space research.  Tests will be done not only on its flavor, composition and drinkability, but also on the drinker’s biometric responses, like heart rate and blood pressure.  And why?  As the safety of and market for space tourism continues to improve, analysts predict the weightless travelers will cry out for something with a little gravity!... Sorry, I couldn’t help it.  What situation – terrestrial or otherwise – couldn’t get a boost from a nice, cold brew?

This will be the first of many tests to determine the plausibility of beer consumption becoming a regular part of space life, but we already know a bit about how beer production would work up there.  Containers would have to be constructed drastically different in order to handle unavoidable temperature and pressure shifts.  Meanwhile, yeast – those intrepid little eukaryotes – have shown an increased fermenting efficiency, which would raise a space-brewed beer’s alcohol content significantly.

What do you say, fellow residents of the Beer Universe?  Would your trip into orbit require a 6-pack of your favorite ale or lager?  Which beer would you most like to be sipping when you look through the porthole to point out the mighty Rocky Mountains or the Great Wall of China?  Would you attempt to feel more Buzz than Aldrin?  Let us know.

Your Choice.  Your Beer.  Drink Up.
- Beer Universe



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