Skip to main content

Will we ever use this beer bottle designed for space?

Vostok Space Beer Bottle


Is it time for Craft beer to move into the final frontier?  An Australian partnership believes so.  4 Pines Brewing and Saber Astronautics have partnered to design both a bottle for use in space, and a beer to suit the pallet of zero g drinkers.  They call it Vostok Space Beer, honoring the craft that sent Yuri Gregarin into space, and launched a million dollar IndieGoGo campaign earlier this week.  Interest seems low.

The striking bottle design by Angelina Kwan is named "Dark Side of the Moon".  It's highly stylized and would fit better on the set of Star Wars than 2001: A Space Odyssey.  Space age design elements are cool.  I love to see increased use of scientific motifs in design, even if it's not hyper realistic.  The PR photos are designed with the commemorative market in mind, and have a nice detachable glass at the bottom.

The technological design brief is to find an artful way to move liquid from storage to the drinker.  The Vostok project is committed to the long neck bottle as we know it.  That means no plungers.  No tooth paste tubes.  Nothing that could have been in a cosmonaut's pantry.  The idea in this design is to use the beer's surface tension to wick the beverage from the bottle to the outlet, on demand.  All of the technology is hidden in the black top of the bottle.  Similar techniques are applied to fuel tanks, to manage the risk of bubbles causing troubles.  It should work.  Most likely, the space version of the bottle would be glass free and built with slightly less photogenic polycarbonate or polypropylene .

I'm not sure the commitment to the bottle is necessary.  It's not like bottle drinking is a celebrated part of the terrestrial craft beer experience.  However, I have to admit that the design is great for publicity.

Ecofass plastic keg and disposable bag
My prediction is that space beer will fist be served in a bag, in something similar to a camel pack, or to be more product specific, an Ecofass keg.  Maybe some sort of sparkler will be incorporated in the head to infuriate CAMRA.

Presently, carbonated beverages aren't really consumed in space.  They have a potential to get really messy.  The vostok bottle may reduce the risk.  It might need a handle in practice.  Most likely, beer won't be officially consumed in space until artificial gravity is built into space ships and stations.  At this point, the closed container becomes less necessary and ultimately detrimental.  It will be key to reduce packaging weight per unit volume.  That will drive towards personal bags and casks for group consumption.  The risks associated with CO2 tanks to drive keg beer seem to outweigh the benefits.  Space beer will be stouts, porters and British styles.  The 4 pines guys are on to something here.  In space, light lagers will be flat and relatively tasteless

I'd like to comment on the beer reformulation, but i can't find evidence about what would differ from the terrestrial 4 pines stout.  Anyone who has flown on a long haul flight can attest that nothing tastes quite right at altitude.  Airlines spend considerable effort selecting wines that have some flavor in the air.  I wish they'd dedicate similar efforts to the beer.

So say we all!


Greatest Hits

Nostalgia and New Ideas: Craft Beer Luminaries Find Ways To Stay Relevant

I'm not envious of the youngsters starting out in an era when good beer is available on every street corner.   Yes, things have never been more exciting in US Micro brewing but I feel the grip of  nostalgia.  New breweries are opening almost weekly.  New taprooms draw crowds to taste new, photogenic beers.  Novelty, at times, seems to surpass quality in importance to today's promiscuous drinkers.  Which isn't to say that we didn't get around in my day.  It's just that we didn't make such an effort to make an obvious trail, or tally our conquests.  Which were, admittedly, somewhat smaller in number.  Might today's craft drinkers missing some great beers from great breweries, in a quest for the next big thing, and a desire to avoid drinking one of dad's many microbrews?  The good news is that many are doing cool things to stay interesting, and remain in conversation. So many brewing luminaries of my youth are now ancient.  Great Lakes Brewing is 30. 

Avengers: Infinity Beer - Pairing Brews with Heros

Marvel's great cinematic event Avengers: Infinity War is upon us.  Let us not puzzle over where the coveted infinity stones are hiding, or even wonder who will survive this (or more definitively the next installment).  Let us consider our heroes in their last hours of peace.  What would the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and other heroes enjoy when they crack open a beer?  Perhaps their last.  What would they choose? Thor - Pilsner Urquel The go d of thunder demonstrated his love of drink in a scene so good, we got to see it twice.  Naming the lager Dr. Strange conjures into the mug of endless refills would tell us more about the good doctor than Thor.  The latter I'd say may be a bit indiscriminate in his tastes, with a preference for volume and a mythological willingness to steal brew kettles from giants to ensure uninterrupted supply for his follow gods and himself.  Thor would want a beer that tastes great, yet is still enjoyable after a few rounds.  Epic, c

Beer Destinations: Prague

Beneath a fairy tale skyline of spires, domes, and towers, a modern city of industry and commerce sits upon cobblestone streets and ancient bridges.   Prague is a maddening riddle.   Brilliant minds like Franz Kafka and Bohumil Hrabal relied upon surrealistic visions to make sense of it.   Despite the city’s complex and frankly tumultuous history, there’s a millennia of brilliantly preserved architecture, miraculously spared the devastation of fire, war, and tasteless modernizations that have continuously reshaped many European cities. Located between the noble hop fields of Žatec (Saaz in German) and Moravia’s cascading barley fields, Prague is within easy reach of the ingredients to needed to sustain a vital brewing scene.    However, the city was not spared the 20 th century’s assault on local beer culture.   In the early 1990s, international breweries monopolized the city’s tap handles.   Brewpubs were mostly forgotten, a novelty for tourists, at best. This Prague earned a reput