People have sent all kinds of living things into space in order to observe how the vacuum might affect them. But it's taken some seven decades for someone to think of bringing hops, the vine-grown flowers known for giving beer its bitterness and aroma (and oddly used for very little else). The all-civilian crew of the SpaceX Inspiration 4 decided to bring 66 pounds of hops (along with some other stuff, like a ukulele and an NFT?) on their journey, with the goal of auctioning them off to raise money for charity.
When Sam Adams Brewery saw the news, they couldn't resist the opportunity.
According to Business Insider, Sam Adams' head brewer reached out to the Inspiration4 to make a deal, which will have the Boston Beer Company donating $100,000 to St. Jude's Hospital. Insider estimated the value of the space hops at around $361,000, though it's not clear how much the beer itself will cost, or when it will be released (though rumors say "sometime this fall".
Insider also noted that, while these are the first space hops, it's not the first time alcohol in general has gone galactic:
Coors sponsored an experiment in 1994 to test fermentation in space. Japanese brewer Sapporo produced a $110 six-pack using barley seeds send up to space by Japanese and Russian researchers in 2006. Anheuser-Busch has sent several samples of barley to the International Space Station, the latest in 2019, to determine the effects of microgravity on barley seeds. 12 bottles of Bordeaux wine were also sent to space in 2019, which were expected to be valued at $1 million per bottle.
In the meantime, the Brewery is having a contest for naming rights to the Space Hops IPA:
Sam Adams will craft beer using hops sent into Earth's orbit on SpaceX's Inspiration4 [Francis Agustin / Business Insider]