Bridger Brewing, Montana Space Grant Consortium at Montana State University and Bozeman-based Crooked Yard Hops have partnered on a project that sent beer ingredients into space.
The retrieved ingredients were then used to brew a commemorative beer celebrating the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. While other breweries are releasing beers to mark the occasion, Bridger took their anniversary moon landing beer one step further by first launching the ingredients into space, or, more accurately, the “edge of space.”
Bridger Brewing Brewmaster and Director of Operations Daniel Pollard and Crooked Yard Hops Owner Jake TeSelle recruited the help of the Montana Space Grant Consortium and MSU students to launch a Google balloon carrying the four primary components of beer (malt, hops, yeast and water).
The ingredients launched on June 12 from Wheatland County Airport in Harlowton, MT. The balloon rose to 106,011 feet and was recovered on a ranch northeast of Big Timber, MT. Other breweries across the country have attempted to launch ingredients into space for the same purpose but, to the group’s knowledge, none have been successful so far.
MSU students helped to track the balloon with the direction of the Berk Knighton, Flight Director for the BOREALIS (Balloon Outreach, Research, Exploration and Landscape Imaging System) program. They also operated under the direction of Angela Des Jardins, Director of the Montana Space Grant Consortium and assistant research professor at MSU.
“Providing real-world, hands-on opportunities for Montana’s college students is our passion. Working with community members like Bridger Brewing makes these learning opportunities even more meaningful,” Des Jardins said. Tuesday, July 16 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch. To celebrate, Space Cowboy Pale Ale (5.2% ABV, 40 IBU) goes on tap at Bridger Brewing on Wednesday, July 3.
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