Since we’re officially going to Mars, it’s time to sort out what we’ll eat and drink once there. Freeze-dried food is alive and well. We’ll be able to grow produce. And, as Food & Wine noted recently, you can pair those leafy greens and Styrofoam-like entrees with a bottle of beer.
Vostok Space Beer is the brainchild of Australia’s 4 Pines Brewing Company and research and development company Saber Astronautics. Branding themselves, “space guys who love beer,” the two companies have come together to create a brew you could actually drink once you’re beyond gravity’s pull.
Brewing beer for space takes a somewhat different set of skills than traditional brews, and the Vostok team faced multiple challenges in creating a beer that would actually work in space.
For one, the human body absorbs alcoholic beverages differently in zero-gravity environments. Traditional beer drunk in space would not only taste different, it could also do strange and possibly gross things to your digestive system. There’s also the whole drinking-and-flying debate to consider.
Packaging, too, is an issue the folks at Vostok have had to work through. Because you can’t pour liquid properly without gravity, the team had to design a special bottle that would defy gravity. To address that, Vostok went to great lengths to develop something that would give drinkers the experience of holding an actual beer bottle, using “modified technology from fuel tanks.”
“We’ve created the beer and created the bottle. Now it’s just piecing them altogether,” says 4 Pines’ Jaron Mitchell.
The reality is probably not quite so simple. Alcohol and space have a complicated history together, one that’s rife with politics. Buzz Aldrin may have had a glass of wine on the moon, but booze is actually banned from the International Space Station today. That’s probably a good thing, as far as the astronauts are concerned. Whether regulations change once the average tourist starts taking trips to space is a question we’ll see debated more in the coming years.
Right now, the product appears to be more in the conceptual stage than anything else. Vostok is raising funds via an Indiegogo campaign, though as yet it only has a few thousand of its $1 million goal.
Also, space tourism may be inevitable, but not for some years. So at present, your $90 minimum donation will only get you the bottle, sans beer. But based on the concept designs, it’s still a pretty cool piece to have in your collection, and if you’re lucky enough to win a spot on this parabolic flight, you might actually be able to use it.