Vostok, a venture of Australia’s 4 Pines Brewing Company and Saber Astronautics, has spent the last eight years developing the space-friendly beer. The company is named after Russia's Vostok program, which put cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into Earth's orbit in 1961, and was created with the sole purpose of creating a luxurious beer-drinking experience possible once commercial space travel takes off.
The beer is a dry, Irish-style stout with aromas of coffee, chocolate, and caramel (with an alcohol content of 5.1 percent). Its taste has already won it gold medal at the Australian International Beer Awards, but flavor is only one part of the puzzle for zero-gravity beer.
The next challenge: A beer bottle that can go into orbit.
Vostok has launched an Indiegogo campaign for the new bottles, of which there are currently two different prototypes. The design utilizes an insert, created by Saber Astronautics, that uses surface tension to wick the beer up from the bottom of the bottle to the mouthpiece, similar to the way a fuel tank works.
This offers the ability to drink the beer without relying on a squeeze-style packet that astronauts typically use for liquids.
“Beer has a specific shape and feel that people recognize and no beer drinker would want to use a straw,” Jason Held, CEO of Saber Astronautics, told Gizmodo. “So a space beer bottle is really a luxury, something which we hope will make the hard-working astronaut feel more at home.”
The company is trying to raise $1,000,000 with crowdfunding to continue research and development, and hopes to start shipping the bottle by the end of 2019.