Japanese Space Beer: Taking “Lite” To a New Level

Image from neebong

Sapporo Holdings, proud manufacturers of an essential ingredient in sake bombs, have announced that they’re making an ambitious step to grow their brewery: beer from space.

While this venture may seem like something out of a teenager’s science fiction novel, or perhaps prohibitively expensive, it is actually both feasible, and already underway. Sapporo is going to use barley that began life aboard the International Space Station in 2006, spending five months growing in a zero-gravity environment. Since the barley has returned, it has propagated, and now there’s enough surplus for Sapporo to produce approximately 100 bottles of beer.

Sapporo, which has funded the project since its inception, is not planning to market the beer commercially at the moment, but is certain to take advantage of the knowledge gained in the experiment to enhance the already-hardy barley. While more traditional scientists are of course looking at this research as a lesson on growing food in space–a vital task as humanity continues to explore –Sapporo is more excited about earthly applications, and expects to gain a commercial advantage from the space beer soon, even if it doesn’t actually reach market.