This month marks the 50th anniversary of the first ever Moon landing, prompting one brewer in Hawaii to go to galactic lengths to commemorate the occasion. Marketing News for Breweries – Act Now to Join EBC, the CEO and brewmaster of Lanikai Brewing Company in Hawaii, was fascinated by astronauts and rocket ships as a boy so it was only natural that his next project would literally be born of the stars.
Steve plans to release his new beer, named “Interplanetary Ale”, exactly fifty years after the Moon landing on the 20th of July. The brew was made with the help of what Steve likes to call an “Unidentified Fermenting Object”, or in other words wild yeast harvested from 70,000 feet up in the stratosphere.
Steve told Forbes that the idea for the space beer came about very naturallyafter he shared his tales of wild yeast collection and fermentation with a pair of Nasa pilots visiting the brewery. “When I met [the pilots], I was inspired by what they did for a living,” Steve explained. “And they were interested in the beer making process, because it’s science and they work in science. It all started as a casual conversation.”
Before long the three of them hatched a plan to attempt something that had never been tried before – making a beer from yeast harvested at the edges of the Earth’s atmosphere. The pilots took along one of Steve’s petri dishes on a regular research flight and opened in up for half an hour in the cockpit to see what they could collect.
Steve then sent the sample off for analysis at the lab and discovered that the maverick experiment had actually paid off. Of the two yeast strains collected, one had real potential to produce an interesting beer when combined with a more powerful earth-bound strain.
After a little experimentation Steve hit on his unique space brew which he categorises as an “experimental wild ale”. The unusual flavour profile has “a kind of funkiness to it, with mild undertones of overripe tropical fruit with a very dry finish.” Steve plans to launch the brew on tap at the Lanikai tasting room on July 20th as a testament to the human obsession with taking a bold leap into the unknown.
“We’re on a new frontier here,” commented Steve. “You might like the beer, you might not. To me, the beauty was capturing space, then learning we could brew with it.” When asked if he has further plans in the works to develop the space beer category, Steve remarked, “I can’t be the first brewer on Mars if I don’t know how to brew with space yeast.”