Good news for aliens and futurists: Beer is starting to make its way into space. Beer makers from Ninkasi Brewing to BridgePort Brewing (RIP on the latter), have sent beer ingredients into the expanse that exists beyond the earth and between celestial bodies (you call that space). Now Bridger Brewing (out of Bozeman, Mo.), the Montana Space Grant Consortium at Montana State University and Crooked Yard Hops (also out of Bozeman) have partnered on a project that recently sent beer ingredients into outer space. The retrieved ingredients were then used to brew a commemorative beer celebrating the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
What happens to stuff we shoot out into the cosmos? Does it come back changed? Is its structure different? Is it infused with awesome alien DNA that will turn us all into gelatinous blobs if we ingest it? Because we’re definitely going to ingest it.
Well, unfortunately, the press release didn’t say. While other breweries released beers to mark the occasion, Bridger took the anniversary moon landing beer one step further by actually first launching the ingredients into space, or, more accurately, the edge of space. From the press release!
Bridger Brewing brewmaster and director of operations Daniel Pollard and Crooked Yard Hops Owner Jake TeSelle recruited the help of the Montana Space Grant Consortium and MSU students to launch a Google balloon carrying the four primary components of beer (malt, hops, yeast and water).
The ingredients launched on June 12 from Wheatland County Airport in Harlowton, MT. The balloon rose to 106,011 feet and was recovered on a ranch northeast of Big Timber, MT. Other breweries across the country have attempted to launch ingredients into space for the same purpose but, to the group’s knowledge, none have been successful so far.
MSU students helped to track the balloon with the direction of the Berk Knighton, Flight Director for the BOREALIS (Balloon Outreach, Research, Exploration and Landscape Imaging System) program. They also operated under the direction of Angela Des Jardins, Director of the Montana Space Grant Consortium and assistant research professor at MSU.
“Providing real-world, hands-on opportunities for Montana’s college students is our passion. Working with community members like Bridger Brewing makes these learning opportunities even more meaningful,” Des Jardins said.
Tuesday, July 16 (tomorrow!) marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. To celebrate, Space Cowboy Pale Ale (5.2 percent ABV, 40 IBU) is on tap at Bridger Brewing right now! Go get some suckers!