While NASA might have given up the shuttle program, that doesn’t mean that space travel is done and gone. In fact, more travelers will be heading up into the wild black yonder than at any other point in history as more and more nations get their own programs online or join forces with each other. Russia, the EU and even China are all actively engaged in space exploration to one extent or another. While all of these astronauts, cosmonauts and other –nauts hail from different areas of the world, speak different languages and come from different cultures, they all have one thing in common – thirst. 4 Pines Brewing Company has an answer for that thirst.
Space Beer Is Finally a Reality
Space beer has been around for some time, at least in concept. There have been many attempts to link brewing and space travel, including brewing beer made with grains grown in outer space. However, it has only been recently that real space beer has been talked about. 4 Pines Brewing Company (from Australia) has been working on a project for some time that would give space travelers the ability to enjoy a cold beer without the drawbacks that consuming carbonated, alcoholic beverages in a zero-G environment can have.
Vostok Comes to Life
4 Pines has spent an enormous amount of effort (and time) on creating this brew, testing it for problems and getting the recipe just right. The result of their efforts is Vostok, a stout with low carbonation.
The low carbonation was actually a requirement. When you pour a beer here on Earth, bubbles rise to the surface. However, that doesn’t happen in space. There are also other considerations that had to be made. Vostok has a bit more flavoring than terrestrial beers because the human tongue swells slightly and loses some sensitivity in space.
4 Pines worked closely with Saber Aeronautics to help develop the brew. As you can imagine, it went through a lot of testing. That included parabolic flight testing in which the beer was subjected to zero-G conditions similar to what will be found on the International Space Station or a trip to the Moon or Mars. The results speak for themselves – the beer is drinkable and enjoyable and seems to leave no lingering ill effects. There’s no word yet on whether or not Vostok will be available for consumers worldwide or not.