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Special beer is ready for outer space

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Vostok Space Beer has been developed in Manly, Australia by 4 Pines Brewing Company. Working with space engineers, the brewers have overcome the obstacles of beer in space for travelers. The maiden test of the beverage was done in Florida with a trial batch.

This is the "world's first space beer" designed specifically for consumption in outer space, although beer has previously been shot into and consumed in space. And brewing beer with barley grown at the International Space Station has already been tested. The name Vostok comes from the Russian spacecraft.

One issue is that due to zero gravity, bubbles do not rise in space as in carbonation and human discomfort is caused. According to 4 Pines brewer Jaron Mitchell, "On earth when you burp, due to the gravity that's acting on your stomach, the gas and the liquid separate. However in space... the gas and the liquid can both come up during a burp." A second problem is that the entire face including the tongue swells in space which lessens the ability to taste beer.

Vostok beer had to have low carbonation and be higher in flavor. Also tested were some of beer's nutrient transferral properties that can ease long duration spaceflight stress. There are other firsts in the space beer production, the first look at alcohol absorption in space and the first beer in aviation history legally served on a commercial microgravity aircraft.

One problem is that testing beer in zero gravity is extremely expensive so space beer cannot be just about making a profit at this point. To test Vostok's taste and effects on a 0-gravity parabolic flight, 4 Pines partnered with independent professional flight researchers Astronauts4Hire.

The tests exceeded space flight conditions, going from 1.8g (nearly twice body weight) to 0g and back fifteen times. While six samples of 150ml beer were drunk, basic biometrics taken between samples measuring effects of the beer carbonation level on the tester showed no effects from carbonation.

Volstok is a craft beer, not a novelty beer, and must taste great both on Earth and in microgravity. It is available at pubs in Australia and the 4 Pines website has contact information for those in outer space at richard@4pinesbeer.com.au, or phone +61 450 202 337.

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