Brewing Yeast From Outer Space!

, Brewing Yeast From Outer Space!

NASA planes used to capture yeast (courtesy Lanikai Bewing)

We get it. This sounds like a 1960s horror movie. But a US yeast producer has sourced bacteria from our planet’s higher reaches and a Hawaiian craft brewer put it into play.

, Brewing Yeast From Outer Space!

Maniacal Yeast Labs

Here’s the deal…

Maniacal Yeast Labs, a US company which specializes in sourcing “unique yeast and bacteria” for brewers, recently teamed up with Lanikai Brewing Co. to help isolate a space yeast for the brewer’s Interplanetary Ale, a limited release brewed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

Lanikai Brewing Company co-founder, CEO, and brewmaster, Steve Haumschild, befriended two NASA research pilots who were able to collect yeast samples in a petri dish. And according to Forbes they were able to collect the yeast while flying NASA ER2 at 70,000 feet from air coming through the intake vent.

Then Justin Amaral, co-owner and head of lab services at Maniacal Yeast worked to isolate the yeast strains, eventually finding two different strains in the petri dish.

One of those space-sourced strains proved viable for brewing, although it did need to be combined with another strain in order for it consume enough sugar to make good quality beer.

As Haumschild explained to Forbes it’s all about exploration be it outer space or craft brewing…

, Brewing Yeast From Outer Space! “I’m excited to share what I’ve found with other brewers. We didn’t know what we were going to get, and to be honest I truly didn’t think it was going to work, but in the spirit of exploration, I figured, let’s try it. That’s what NASA is about, that’s what [Lanikai Brewing] is about.”

The “Beer Space Race” has been accelerating over the years…

In 2015, Ninkasi Brewing Company released a beer made from brewers’ yeast sent into space, called Ground Control.

In 2017 Budweiser took to the SXSW Interactive stage to announce that they are exploring ways to brew beer on the Red Planet.

Later that year Budweiser partnered with CASIS (the Center for Advancement of Science in Space), the organization that oversees the International Space Station’s US Laboratory, and with Space Tango, which operates two commercial research facilities within that space lab and sent barley into space.

And in 2018 Australian brewery 4 Pines partnered with Saber Astronautics to create a beer and space-ready beer bottle that would work in zero gravity.

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