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They Did What?: 

This craft beer was brewed with space yeast


Craft beer has officially jumped the shark.

Look, we’re delighted as the next person when we stumble upon a delicious IPA – we’ve even downloaded an app to help us find them – but we draw the line at sourcing ingredients from outer space. That hasn’t stopped the Ninkasi Brewing Company, whose new imperial stout does exactly that, brewed from a yeast that’s travelled 408,035ft (77.3 miles) above the earth’s surface.

Ninkansi will release its craft beer, Ground Control, on April 13, and as you might expect it comes in very limited qualities. The company launched just six vials of its yeast into space, which was made into a batch of 55 barrels. Once that’s gone, though, we’re afraid you’ll have to go back to drinking miserable earth beer – yuck!

The path to completing this extraterrestrial tipple wasn’t easy, obviously. The company’s first batch of yeast was actually lost in the Nevada Desert for 27 days, after which it was deemed unsuitable for the refined palate of Ninkansi’s consumers. The second rocket launched in October 2014, landed successfully back on earth, and was then transported to Oregon for brewing.

“After almost two years of research, development, lab time, and two separate rocket launches to garner space yeast, we have finally completed our mission,” says Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi CEO and co-founder. “It was a project born out of passionate people coming together to try something new and we can’t wait to share it with the world.”

So, what does space beer taste like?

While the space yeast might be the most exotic ingredient that went into Ground Control, there are some other, more recognizable flavors. Completing the brew were hazelnuts, star anise, and cocoa nibs, plus the appropriately named Apollo, Bravo, and Comet hops.

All in all, then, it’s 10.0% imperial stout served into 22oz. bottles. The yeast may have been to space and back, but drink too much of this craft beer and you’ll still feel the effects of gravity. Ground Control, indeed.

For more information or to try and get your hands on a bottle of space beer, visit Ninkansi’s website.

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