Portland brewery sends ‘first craft beer into space’

Oregon brewery BridgePort is the latest brewer to join the space race after it launched its flagship IPA into space using a specially-designed helium balloon.

The video posted by the brewery which records the mission shows a container with one full bottle of The Original IPA inside and a decorative, empty bottle strapped to the top being sent into “space”. The brewery noted that a full bottle would not have survived the change in atmospheric pressure.

After receiving clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration the bottles were launched from the desert of West Texas and flew for an hour and a half, reaching a height of 22 miles before travelling back to Earth. The brewery notes that the 22 mile peak is fitting given that the space mission was launched to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of their flagship IPA.

The bottles arrived back on Earth fully intact some 55 miles from their original launch point.

Gregor Mina, director of marketing at BridgePort said: “The richness of the region’s hop fields inspired BridgePort and set the benchmark for the IPA style.

“Hop boundaries were pushed way out and we felt it would be fun to send the brew that helped shape the category ‘way out there’ into space and mark another first for BridgePort IPA”.

The space stunt also celebrates the opening of the brewery’s new brew pub and the installation of an “enhanced” five-barrel brewing system at its original brewery.

In December last year, Budweiser sent barley seeds into space in order to study how one of beer’s key ingredients responds to microgravity environments. The endeavour forms a part of its goal to be the first beer on Mars.

Meanwhile, last month, a team of US students discovered how to grow hops on Mars after conducting experiments on Martian soil.

Back in 2014 Oregon’s Ninkasi Brewing Company sent a rocket carrying vials of brewer’s yeast into space, with the intention of brewing a beer with its once it had returned to earth.

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