Though it didn’t break out the Intergalactic Proton-Powered Electrical-Tentacled Advertising Droids, Sapporo breweries is definitely selling the World’s first beer made from barley that’s been on a trip into outer space. Outer space, guys, outer space!
Now, given the monumentally exciting (in a mega-geeky sense) nature of this stunt, you’d think the stuff would be called Space Beer, Galacto-Beer, Lightsaber Lager, Pan-Galactic Beeroblaster or something, wouldn’t you? (Suggestions in the comments section, please!) Sadly Sapporo has chosen to call it, um, Space Barley. Sorry about that, it must be a Japanese-English translation thing.
Still, the very limited edition beer is most definitely brewed from fourth-generation barley grown from Haruna Nijo variety seeds that were whisked into the starry void by the Russian Academy of Science and Okayama University in 2006. It was a five month experiment aboard the Zvezda module of the International Space Station presumably to look at the issues relating to growing plants in space and other good sciencey things–not a publicity exercise at all. Apparently the resultant drink has a “mellow fragrance with a distinctive taste of roasted barley.”
If you’re a Japan-living beer fan, and you fancy trying a space brew irrespective of whether remnants of space radiation will transmogrify you into a pseudo-Hulk like being, then you have until Christmas Eve to place your order, and delivery is expected by the end of January 2010. But you’ll have to be lucky: There are just 250 six-bottle sets available at a whopping $113 per set. If there are more than 250 interested bidders, and we suspect there will be, then it’ll turn into a lottery to decide who’ll get to actually own some. But if you do win one, at least you’ll be able to sink the lovely liquid with the warm knowledge inside you that all the proceeds are going to charity to promote science education for children and the development of space science in Japan and Russia.