Last week we discussed the possibility of brewing beer with helium, but today we’re talking about using helium to (quite literally) take beer to new heights.
A couple of die-hard beer fans from “Natty Nation” came up with the idea of making the infamous beer the first brew to enter the stratosphere.
Danny B. and Rich T., the hosts of this video, were given the green light by Natural Light to try to send a can of their beer up under a helium-filled weather balloon, to honor Natural Light with the title of “the first beer in space.”
(The “First Beer in Space” title is actually inaccurate. The helium balloon reached approximately 90,000 feet, which is in the stratosphere. The stratosphere is 33,000 feet at the lowest altitude and 130,000 feet at the upper altitude. Space technically begins at the Kármán Line, which is 328,084 feet up from the surface of the Earth, nearly four times higher than the beer traveled.)
The two men constructed a homemade “space craft,” nicknamed the Aluminum Fullcan, which was a styrofoam cooler that carried the full beer, a GPS device so that they could find it later, and an HD camera that filmed the empty can that you see riding on the outside of the craft. Check out the “making of” video below…
The helium balloon carried the Aluminum Fullcan up for two-and-a-half hours until it hit 90,000 feet, where it finally popped and fell back to the planet 60 miles away from the launch site.
At the start of the 150-mph free-fall, you can actually see ice chips that had formed on the balloon rain down from above. A cooler of beer taken up to the stratosphere under a helium balloon: Is there any neater way to get your beer ice cold?
Maybe you’re asking to yourself, “But has a beer actually ever been in space?”
A helium balloon will never get a beer into actual space (we will explain why in the near future), but a rocket will…
Ninkasi Brewing Company released their “Ground Control” beer in April, which is an Imperial Stout fermented with ale yeast that was sent up to space on a rocket, flown back down to Earth, and used to brew the stout.
But if that doesn’t count on your space beer scorecard…
Vostok Space Beer was specifically brewed for astronauts (and other people in space), because regular beer can be uncomfortable to drink in zero-G due to the mild swelling of the tongue that occurs and the carbonation bubbles that don’t separate from the liquid (you’d burp bubbles and beer if you burped in space).
Source: YouTube/Natural Light