Science Tuesday: Celestial Beer

By Christina Janansky, Staff Writer

So, imagine a beer with celestial bits in it./PHOTO VIA Flickr user Lindsey Gira

Fall — and all the wonderful things that come with it— is finally fully upon us. Pumpkin Spice Lattes, fiery-colored leaves and lace-up boots speckle Commonwealth Avenue as students warmly welcome the coming of the season.

However, Dogfish Head Brewery has found a different way to rejoice autumn’s arrival. To properly celebrate the fall equinox in late September, the Delaware-based brewery released a small-batch beer with a Big Bang: the company’s new “celest-jewel-ale” beer is actually made with the crushed dust of lunar meteorites.

The lunar dust, according to the Dogfish Head website, gives the ale a rich Oktoberfest feel, with notes of “doughy malt, toasted bread, subtle caramel and a light herbal bitterness.” The combination of these ancient particles — which are made up mostly by minerals and salts — with German malts and hops yields a “German style” earthiness after a yeast-induced fermentation process.

According to an online article in Discovery News, Dogfish Head acquired their special stellar ingredient from “friends” at the ILC Dover, a company that creates suits specifically for NASA. Through ILC Dover, Dogfish Head was able to access a small portion of the rare intergalactic ingredient and incorporate it into their celebratory celestial brew.

As if the beer itself wasn’t cool enough, ILC Dover gave the Dogfish Head creation a cool aesthetic element: 10 custom “space suit” koozies for the brews, made up of the Orthofabric exterior layer used for NASA spacesuits. These koozies are actually like mini spacesuits themselves: they can withstand temperatures ranging from -250 to +250 degrees Fahrenheit, can shield the beer against micrometeorites traveling at 10 miles per second, block out solar radiation and endure the crippling nature of a vacuum in space.

“Unnecessary” sounds like a bit of an understatement for the koozies’ elaborate features, but who cares? This stuff is beyond cool, right?

Unfortunately, landing a taste of the “celest-jewel-ale” beer doesn’t seem feasible, since the brewery is all the way in the middle of Delaware.

But as a 21-year-old, beer-loving space nerd, it just might be worth the expedition.

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