Having a cold one in space isn’t as easy as it should be. We believe that something should be done about it — well before we invest in any manned mission to Mars. Luckily, at least one brewery is up to the challenge. The 4 Pines Brewery in Manly, Australia (yes, a town called “Manly”) has completed its first experimental batch of beer meant to be consumed in near zero-gravity conditions.
Why the need for a specially engineered space beer? Well, apparently all beer — not just American adjunct brews — taste more or less like water in space. “In space your whole entire face, including your tongue, swells,” 4 Pines Brewery co-owner Jaron Mitchell told 774 ABC Melbourne. “It becomes a lot harder to taste things in space.”
The swollen tongue numbs your taste buds. Thus the need for an engineered space beer capable of overcoming the lack of gravity. 4 Pines Brewery expects a full-bodied stout may satisfy the palettes of most space travelers.
Another problem with suds in space: the aftereffects can be messy. Because there’s no gravity to hold down liquids, belching often means there’s a bit of cleanup included in the oral release of gasses. So to counter that effect, 4 Pines is aiming to keep carbonation at a minimum for their space brew.
The brewery has been collaborating with a group of space engineers to develop the beer in time to supply space tourism flights scheduled to begin next year. Virgin Galactic has reportedly already sold tens of thousands of tickets for its 2012 space launches. And at $200,000 a pop, we expect that any drinks served aboard the flights are complimentary.
The beer is scheduled to undergo its first micro-gravity test on humans in Florida this Saturday.