Space is cool. Well, space seems cool, sitting snugly behind my computer on earth. Actual space is a terrifying vacuum. Those who somehow make it up to space and then come back are forever changed. I mean their goddamn DNA changes (not really), but their bodies atrophy, they soak up lots of delicious space radiation and they deal with the psychological trauma of claustrophobic and hostile environments. That’s why beer in space seems like a good idea to me — because space travel seems fairly nightmarish.
Space-themed beer is sort of a thing. Budweiser has talked about barely in space (Sapporo had a space barley beer too). Bud has also talked about brewing beer on Mars, which is not technically space, but you get what I mean. Portland’s BridgePort Brewing sent its Original IPA into space recently, and Ninkasi Brewing has sent yeast into space, which it uses to brew its Ground Control Imperial Stout. Of course, that’s not making beer in space. Luckily, yesterday, a Smithsonian PR rep dropped me a line that the magazine had recently published an article titled “How Do You Make Beer in Space?” After quickly reading this article, I gleaned these six interesting facts:
- In 2007, two NASA astronauts supposedly flew drunk into space; NASA formally banned crews from imbibing in orbit after.
- Carbonated beverages are outlawed on the International Space Station.
- Without gravity to draw liquids to the bottoms of our stomachs, leaving gases at the top, astronauts tend to produce wet burps.
- Shipping costs to space can run about $10,000 a pound.
- Hops might be able to grow on Mars, which again, is not space.
- There’s nothing in this article about making beer in space (sigh).
Conclusion: Making or drinking beer in actual space is not happening anytime soon. Until then, enjoy the rest of this Smithsonian article. It’s fun. I guarantee the experience is better than actually being in space.