Sapporo has announced the limited release of “Space Barley,” widely touted as a beer made from barley grown in space. With only 250 six-packs being sold (at a cool $110 each), a lottery is being held to randomly select the lucky buyers. But is this really some sort of extraterrestrial brew? Well, sort of…
Sapporo, partnered with Okayama University and the Russian Academy of Sciences, sponsored research aboard the International Space Station to explore “Studies of Impact of Extreme Environmental Stresses on Barley.” The barley that was grown in space joined the ranks of wheat, soybeans, potatoes, lettuce, and peas — other foods that have been grown beyond the realm of our atmosphere. After being monitored for five months, the barley returned to earth and its progeny was planted in terra firma. Three generations of the original Haruna Nijo malting barley have been grown on earth altogether, and it was this last generation (the fourth overall) that was used to produce Sapporo’s Space Barley beer.
So it may not quite be a true space beer so to speak, but at least it’s not a complete gimmick. The proceeds of the sale of Space Barley will benefit “promotion of science education for children and the development of space science research,” with all earnings being donated back to Okayama University.
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