Dec 3, 2008

Lifestyle - Cheers for Space Beer

LONDON: Beer buffs, here's some news to cheer! You can now go for an out-of-this-world brew -- suds made with barley descended from grains which
travelled in the outer space.

Well, the extra-terrestrial beverage, "space beer", was the result of a five-month mission during which barley was grown for the first time in a Russian laboratory on board the International Space Station (ISS) orbiting the Earth.

The space brew was the result of a collaboration between the Russian Academy of Science, Okayama University in Japan and Sapporo Breweries, one of the oldest brewers in the country.

And, what's interesting is that Sapporo Breweries went on to use the crop of barley grown in space to create 100 litres of a 5.5 per cent proof beer, aptly named Space Barley.

"There's really no beer like it because it uses 100% barley. Our top seller is the Black Label brand, using additional ingredients such as rice. This one doesn't, and is really a special beer," 'The Daily Telegraph' quoted Sapporo's Managing Directory Junichi Ichikawa as saying.

In fact, the barley was grown as the result of an on-going crop growing project on board ISS, with other products, including wheat, lettuce and peas. In the future, potatoes could also be grown in space, it is believed.

However, Boris Morukov, a cosmonaut who spent 11 days in space on board the ISS, said: "I think we would try to grow potatoes as food, not for vodka production."

While the current batch of space beer will not be sold commercially, 30 couples selected from among the public by lottery will be invited to a special tasting event in Tokyo next month.

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