Friday, December 4, 2009

World's First Space Beer Goes On Sale

I'm not sure if it's the world or universe's first space beer but it has become a reality. Japanese beer giants Sapporo have unveiled what they are calling "Sapporo Space Barley" will be going on sale. Only a lucky few will be able to purchase the very limited edition beer. This will surely make it one of the most sought after beers. Here is what the press release has to say about the beer.

"Sapporo Breweries Ltd. is launching sales of the world's first beer produced using malt made 100% from "space barley," the progenies of spaceflight barley seeds, This limited offer is exclusive to the Internet and proceeds will go to charity. Applications to purchase the beer, which is dubbed "SAPPORO Space Barley," can be made from December 3 (Thu), 2009 on the dedicated web page set up on our company's website. Two hundred and fifty successful customers will be selected from among the applicants by lottery.

The "space barley" used to make this beer is the fourth generation descendant of the Haruna Nijo malting barley that was developed by Sapporo Breweries and kept in space for five months during 2006 as part of our collaborative research with the Russian Academy of Sciences and Okayama University with the purpose of achieving self-sufficiency in food in the space environment. Since Sapporo Breweries was founded, we have continued to create excellent varieties for raw materials, and we are the only company in the world that operates breeding/research organizations for both barley and hops. This, the world's first sale of this "space beer," is the result of our extended nurturing/development of the required technologies.

We have hosted a range of promotional events that capitalize on "space barley" since 2008 in an effort to foster children's interest in space and science. We also want SAPPORO Space Barley to contribute to the promotion of science education for children and the development of space science research in Japan and Russia by donating all of the proceeds to Okayama University.

It is our hope that our customers will feel able to sit back, relax, and enjoy SAPPORO Space Barley, letting their minds drift through the infinities of space and into dreams of the future.

1. Product name:
SAPPORO Space Barley

2. Raw materials:
Malt, hops

3. Featured contents:
Beer brewed using malt made 100% from "space barley" (fourth generation) Roasted malt was used to bring out a slightly dark color that evokes an image of cosmic space. The beer features a mellow fragrance with a distinctive taste of roasted barley.

4. Volume/number of bottles:
330 ml in a one-way bottle; Bottles are packed in a special box (one box contains six bottles).

5. Package design:
Stars studded against a gradated dark navy background representing cosmic space, with a large star, our corporate symbol, placed at the center. The product name is displayed in the shape of a shooting star, exuding refined taste.

6. Quantity:
Limited to 250 boxes (Purchase limited to one box per person)

7. Price:
10,000 yen per box (including shipping and tax)(ed. about $115 US)
* This beer will be sold for charity, to contribute to the promotion of science education for children and the development of space science research in Japan and Russia, through donation of all proceeds to Okayama University.

8. How to request purchase:
Applications for the lottery to buy the beer are accepted on the dedicated web page set up on our company's website.

(you may want to learn Japanese before clicking the link)

Purchase will be limited to applicants living in Japan and aged 20 or older.

9. Schedule

Applications accepted:

From December 3(Thu) through 24(Thu), 2009

Lottery results/start of purchase:

January 7 (Thu), 2010

Deadline for purchase:

January 15 (Fri), 2010

Delivery of beer:

Around January 28 (Thu), 2010


History of "space barley"

April 2006

Haruna Nijo malting barley developed by Sapporo Breweries through collaborative research with Okayama University and the Russian Academy of Sciences was kept aboard the Zvezda Service Module, a component of the International Space Station (ISS), for five months (first-generation "space barley").

April 2007

Seeded the first-generation "space barley".
November 2007 Harvested the second-generation "space barley"; seeded the second-generation "space barley".

May 2008

Harvested the third-generation "space barley".

October 2008

Trial brewing of the world's first beer made from the third-generation "space barley".

November 2008

Seeded the third-generation "space barley".

January 2009

Tasting events held at breweries nationwide for beer made from the third-generation "space barley".

May 2009

Harvested the fourth-generation "space barley".

August 2009

Hop seeds from Furano, Hokkaido launched into space.

September 2009

Tasting events held at five breweries nationwide for barley tea made from "space barley".

November 2009

Seeded the fourth-generation "space barley".

December 2009

Applications accepted to buy SAPPORO Space Barley-the beer brewed from the fourth-generation "space barley".

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