Once in a while along comes a beer that's designed to send consumers sky-high. But a brewing company in Australia is planning to release a product that promises to take drinkers even higher.
Enter Vostok, a beer that's been eight years in the making, by Oz's 4 Pines Brewing Company, in conjunction with Saber Astronautics, the first alcoholic beverage specifically made for consumption in Earth orbit. Their target market isn't likely to be NASA or Roscosmos, better known as the Russian Aviation and Space Agency. Given the public dollars floating into those associations, any flack over astronauts and cosmonauts having a cold one at taxpayer's expense isn't likely to go over with citizens in either country.
Instead, Vostok plans to be the official beer of the world's first space hotel, which at this stage of the game is likely to be Aurora Station, which is currently taking reservations and is slated to become active in space by 2021. The choice of the Russian name, which means East, was no accident either. Vostok was the first series of Soviet spacecraft, one of which transported Yuri Gagarin, the first man to space back in 1961.
But enough of the history lesson. What about the beer itself? For openers, the beer's flavor already has a reputation, having already winning a gold medal at the Australian International Beer Awards. Praised for its blend coffee, chocolate and caramel aromas, not to mention its 5.1 alcohol content, the concoction is much closer to an Irish stout than the lagers known on this continent.
However, in orbit, Vostok won't be that easy to drink. Anyone who's no stranger to imbibing liquid gold fully realizes that on Earth, gravity keeps the heqvier fluid inside your belly and the lighter gas inherent in the beverage escapes through belching or ummm... elsewhere. But in space, where weight is non-existent, zero-gravity doesn't distinguish between gas or fluid. They both either stay in you, which can cause a lot of discomfort, or they both escape, which can cause one heck of a mess. The key to mitigating either of those possibilities is in the mix of ingredients so that consumers can taste it without incident.
Then there's the bottle, which is where Saber Astronautics comes in. An insert uses surface tension inside the bottle to Saber Astronautics has designed a vessel that's a far cry from the antiquated, squeezable food tubes that astronauts need to get their Tang fix. Instead, borrowing from the same technology that's used in car fuel tanks. An inset inside the bottle reduces the sloshing and runaway fluid effects that would occur in zero gravity and applies surface tension to the contents so that a swig is effortless.
Pending the result of an current Indiegogo campaign which hopes to raise $1 million for more research, Vostok might be available here on Earth or elsewhere by 2019.