An Australian Brewery and Saber Astronautics are Working on a Beer for Space
4 Pines Brewing, an Australian brewery, has joined forces with engineering firm Saber Astronautics Australia to develop a stout called Vostok Space Beer. They’re in the midst of crowdfunding a brand-new type of bottle, for it. Both the bottle and the beer are designed for consumption in space.
The point behind designing a beer bottle for microgravity was to try and make the drinking experience as normal as possible. Instead of relying on a squeeze bag, astronauts will be able to drink straight from the bottle thanks to surface tension, which will keep the beer clinging to the glass, and a sort of wick that will draw beer from the bottom of the bottle up towards the neck.
The beer itself is less carbonated than usual, so there’s less of a chance to cause a big bubbly mess in the middle of a space station, but also enough for the drink to still taste and feel like a beer, as reported by Space.com
Of course, there are other obstacles when it comes to space beer than just designing a vessel for the stout. For example, we don’t know how drinking in different levels of gravity will affect people’s tolerance or typical alcohol metabolism, but these are the kinds questions that the brewing and engineering team plan to research if they receive funding.
And of course there is the fact that once the beer runs out, interstellar beer runs would be costly and difficult (basically you would need enough money to launch a satellite into space with beer). It’s why Russian (and Anheuser-Busch) scientists have performed experiments to see if hops and barley can grow in space.
As of now, NASA astronauts are banned from consuming alcohol, although there were eventually-scrapped plans to send sherry as part of an astronaut’s meals in the 1970s. Russia, however, has had fewer restrictions and even recommended that their astronauts drink cognac from time to time.
However, 4 Pines said they have received some interest from space tourism companies who might eventually want to let people enjoy a cold one while bouncing around on a parabolic flight.
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