Down-Under Brewers Work On Space Beer

Within the next couple of years, tourists could be headed into space. They may want to drink something other than Tang. So a group of Australian brewers is trying to create a beer that tastes great in orbit. It's a challenge because there's no carbonation in a zero-gravity environment — which means it has to taste good even though it will be flat.

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STEVE INSKEEP, host:

And now, let's talk about a party in space - with space beer. That's our last word in business today.

Within the next couple of years, tourists could be headed into space.

ARI SHAPIRO, host:

And they may want to drink something other than Tang - that powdered, orange drink that early astronauts took into space.

INSKEEP: A group of Australian brewers is trying to deal with this problem, creating a beer that tastes great in orbit - which is a challenge because there's no carbonation in a zero-gravity environment, which means that the beer has to taste good even though it will be flat.

SHAPIRO: And because taste buds are less sensitive in space, the brewers have decided to make a super-strong porter, like Guinness on steroids.

The beer makers will test their new brew next month on a plane flying in long, parabolic arcs that simulate weightlessness. But even if the beer is cleared for liftoff, it's likely that only tourists in space will enjoy it.

INSKEEP: Because astronauts aboard the International Space Station are not allowed to drink alcohol.

And that's the business news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

SHAPIRO: And I'm Ari Shapiro.

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