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    Beer in Space

    Once again, Japan is on the cutting edge of beer technology. I remember being astonished back during my time studying abroad in Tokyo when my host brother (a marketing executive for Asahi Breweries) explained that Asahi was synthesizing beer from soybeans. Crazy. It wound up tasting…well, bad, in all honesty. But I’m all for pushing the limits of our current brewery capabilities. Sapporo Breweries Ltd. has stepped up to the plate this time around.

    TOKYO (AFP) – A Japanese brewery Tuesday said it was planning the first “space beer,” using offspring of barley once stored at the International Space Station.

    Researchers said the project was part of efforts to prepare for a future in which humans spend extended periods of time in space — and might like a cold beer after a space walk.

    AFP via Yahoo! News

    Ah, yes. Drunken astronauts – something which, I think we can all agree, would be worth realizing one day in spite of the plausible tax hikes to pay for the disasters it might cause. Excellent. This dystopia wonderful future is still a long way off, though, considering that the barley to be used is the third generation descended from some that spent a mere five months in orbit at the International Space Station.

    Sapporo and Okayama University have grown seeds from barley used for the outer space tests and now expect to harvest 40 to 50 kilograms of barley descending from plants grown in outer space.

    In a bid to stir interest in outer space, Sapporo said it plans to produce some 630 liters of beer and some 100 liters of tea, and provide opportunity for some consumers to drink the “space beer” and “space barley tea.”

    “If production of barley and other agricultural products in outer space is demonstrated, it may mean that humans could stay in outer space longer while being self-sufficient in foods,” Manabu Sugimoto, an associate professor at Okayama University, said at a news conference.

    AP via Breitbart

    I can hardly wait until astrobeer is old hat and we’re dealing with space moonshine. Maybe it’ll be ready by the time Astroboy comes of drinking age.

    Hat tip: Taro at 3 Yen
    (subscription required for Nikkei / WSJ source article)

    Also fun: Space yeast in New Mexico beer last year… (Wired Blog)

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