Thursday, February 17, 2011

Space beer will first be drunk on Earth by humans in Florida

Posted By on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Sorry, Tang. Your reign as the premier space drink may be coming to an end.
  • Sorry, Tang. Your reign as the premier space drink may be coming to an end.

An astronaut can't live on Tang alone. She's not going to use orange drink to toast a successful lunar walk or when she finally vanquishes the ship's computer that is threatening to eject her out the airlock?

No, she's going to use space beer. 774 ABC Melbourne reports that 4 Pines Brewing Company is collaborating with space engineers to create the world's first beer intended to be drunk in zero gravity. And the Australian brewer apparently intends to test the initial batch in Florida this weekend.

The brewery, which is in the aptly named Manly, Australia, is developing the space stout to be served on future commercial space flights. So when the space tourism industry takes off, these are the guys who are hoping to supply the beer.

The two main challenges with serving beer in zero gravity are taste and the danger of burping, as Jaron Mitchell, 4 Pines co-owner, explained to 774 ABC Melbourne:

"In space your whole entire face, including your tongue, swells," says Jaron. "It becomes a lot harder to taste things in space. So we're looking for a big full-bodied beer," he says. The second thing that can happen in space is what's called wet burp," says Jaron. "On Earth when you burp, due to the gravity that's acting on your stomach, the gas and the liquid separate," he says. "However in space ... the gas and the liquid can both come up during a burp."
As for the taste, Mitchell told the Toronto Sun that it's like an India Pale Ale. And he dropped the news that even those who intend to stay in orbit will likely have the chance to sip space-age beer, albeit with a slightly more Earth-appropriate recipe. So pick up a few packages of astronaut ice cream in preparation of your first space beer pairing.
 
[Image via Flickr: michael francis mccarthy]

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