May 18, 2011

Beer – Don’t Leave Earth Without It

Lee Rannals For RedOrbit.com

As microbreweries fight to establish the best-flavored brew, Australian brewers are fighting the laws of physics to become the first beer in space.

Jaron Mitchell and Jason Held have developed a beer to reach past the tastelessness experienced in space and satisfy the hunger for those that miss their favorite beverage from back home.

The two entrepreneurs are marketing the Vostok 4 Pines Stout for space tourism, a market that is ripe for the picking for new ideas.

"It's going to be the first beer that will be specifically designed to be drunk in zero gravity with forthcoming space tourism," Mitchell, who owns microbrewery 4 Pines Brewing Company, said in a statement.

The brew will have to overcome many obstacles while fighting zero gravity.

Mitchell and Held ventured on a zero gravity flight to test drinking the beer while experiencing weightlessness. 

The men found it difficult to get the liquid to the mouth without the help of gravity pulling it down for them.

"If you look at a beer glass, you've got gravity pulling the liquid down and you have surface tension pulling the liquid to the side," Held said in a statement.

"So if you drink, it's very easy... the beer goes right up to the edge of the glass and then comes down. In space this isn't quite so easy because there is no gravity pulling the liquid down."

The only thing that really comes as a surprise about this accomplishment is not the struggles of finding a way to drink beer in space, but finding the answer to the question:  What took so long?

Man has been embarking beyond our Earth's atmosphere for 50 years, yet it seems NASA, a space agency known for innovation in a country that brews the world's best selling beer, would have started sending beer with its astronauts about 50 years ago.

Regardless of the timeframe it has taken for this feat to be accomplished, it seems as though man and beer, a friendship that has walked hand and bottle for generations, will finally take their relationship to the next level:  space.


On the Net: