Researchers Develop Zero-G Beer

March 1/Melbourne, Australia/Asian News International (ANI) -- Two companies in Australia have developed a beer that can be safely consumed in space.

With space tourism preparing to take off as early as next year, Saber Astronautics Australia and the Four Pines Brewing Company came up with the thirst-quenching beer.

Jaron Mitchell, the founder of Four Pines, said the creation of space beer was an event for the history books.

"Wherever humans have journeyed or conquest to throughout history in the last few thousand years, we first worry about water, food, shelter and clothing," quoted him as saying.

"In many cases, beer is the next consideration soon after the above four.

"This is a modern-day voyage, similar to the voyage and creation of the 'pale ale as prepared for India' in the 1800s, or what is now referred to as the India Pale Ale," he stated.

The beer has been named after the first manned space flight in 1961, "Vostok."

Four Pines Brewing Company, which is a microbrewery, bar and restaurant based in Manly, Sydney, had earned some very loyal customers, including Dr. Jason Held, director of Saber Astronautics Australia.

Held put the beer idea through to Mitchell, and after much discussion, they came up with the beer that could be drunk not only in space but anywhere on Earth, too.

Saber's first goal was to develop a recipe that people could enjoy comfortably.

It picked a high-flavored beer as a baseline recipe to ensure that space travellers could enjoy the full flavor of the smoky Irish style stout, no matter how long the flight duration.

"The gases and the liquids don't like to separate in zero gravity. So we've reduced the carbonation a bit and given a really strong flavor to the beer," Held said.

"It's actually one of the reasons I approached the Four Pines brewery in the first place, because their recipes, from the get go, are very tasty," he stated.

Part of the reason scientists went with the stout was not just for the flavor but also for its sturdiness in different environments.

"You've got a lot more wiggle room with certain conditions in the stout that I don't think you have with other types of beers. That said, it's early days, research-wise," Held said.

"We've only had our first flight actually having a human being taste it on zero-gravity flight today.

"So we're going to look at how that went on some of the data results and see what we want to change, if we want to change it as far as recipe is concerned," he added.

From the March 3, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News
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