Humanity loves beer, we always have and always will. So much so that the evolution of beer has often matched and (in our humble opinion) now transcended the evolution of man.
With space tourism a burgeoning reality and thousands of rejoicing, happy space fans booked on suborbital flights, we, like your local troop of boy scouts, want to be prepared. Let’s face it, some of these intergalactic holidaymakers will want the option to enjoy a brew while looking at our big Blue Globe. Why deny them the chance?
What happens when you drink beer in space?
Beer aficionados will notice two differences when drinking in space. First, the sense of taste is reduced due to mild swelling of the tongue. Second, drinking beers can be uncomfortable—bubbles do not rise to the top, because there is no “top” in space. Gasses and liquids don’t like to separate. So if you have to burp, you will burp both beer and bubbles.
How has this changed the recipe?
Any space beer must be high in flavor and low in carbonation. We are looking into other effects as well, such as certain nutrient transferal properties of beer which can ease certain stresses during long duration spaceflight.
What kind of beer is it?
Great question, space beer is not just a concept that’s out of this world (bam!), it has also picked up a number of awards as a tasty drop here on earth, including Gold and Silver at the Australian International Beer Awards. The baseline recipe is 4 Pines Dry Irish Stout used for its rich flavor and low carbonation.
How will you know this stuff is drinkable in space?
We demonstrated the beer in 0-gravity parabolic flights on 26 February 2011. We selected professional microgravity flight researchers to sample and give us feedback– They are the judges. The experiment actually exceeded the difficult conditions of space flight, going from 1.8g (nearly twice your body weight) to 0g and back fifteen times. 6-samples of 150ml beer were drunk, and basic biometrics were taken in between samples to measure effects that the carbonation level in the beer had on the tester. Our first flight test showed no effects from carbonation.
Hasn’t this been done before?
Not really. In recent years there have been concepts for brewing in space and sending beer to space and even using bits of space in beer, but the focus has been on the marketing or brewing process, not the recipe itself or the science behind consumption. All of this is cool until you realize you just spent three times the cost to drink a normal pilsner style beer on Earth which is undrinkable in space.
So how is Vostok different?
We’re focusing solely on the recipe, flavor, and drinkability. The point is to be drinkable in space. This is not a “novelty beer” with the same bland taste as your normal stuff. This is a craft beer. It is meant first for people who love beer so it MUST TASTE SUPERB on Earth. It will support the growing space economy by being equally superb in microgravity.
What government agency is funding this?
None. This is a wholly self-funded venture and our intent is for everyone and anyone to enjoy the beer and enjoy space. Our test budget will expand with our sales, so the more you drink the better this research will get.