Space yeast! Ever wonder what extraordinary effects it would exact upon the brewing process? Me neither, but then I’m not a part of Ninkasi Brewing Company in Oregon. They’ve worked with some rocketry enthusiasts to launch yeast into space, retrieve it, and then brew with it.
Why? I’m not entirely sure. Something about viability and mutations and being on the cutting edge. From Wired:
A truly successful space beer in their minds would taste no different from beer on Earth. While it is fun to imagine that exposure to radiation in space could result in some mutations in the yeast that would lead to some truly extraterrestrial beer, the challenge that interests Ninkasi is protecting the yeast from the perils of a space mission.
“Our biggest concern with the yeast was radiation. On Earth we’re protected from the sun’s radiation, and up in space you don’t have that atmosphere to protect you,” Ninkasi’s lab technician Dana Garves said. “So if we’d seen mutations that would have been indicative of radiation, excess radiation.”
“I can tell you that if it comes back and it’s mutated, we’re still going to brew a batch of beer with it,” Ninkasi’s founding brewer Jamie Floyd said. “Rest assured that we will try to make beer with it if it comes back alive in any sort. It’s just… we can’t vouch for how it’s going to taste.”
How can this possibly end well? It can’t. Giant mutant organisms, fermenting brews in strange new horrifying ways… it’s like these poor fools have never seen a 1950s sci-fi flick. Read the whole thing here.