Ground Control boldly combines local and out-of-this-world ingredients. This rich, complex Imperial Stout is brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs, and is fermented with an Ale yeast that survived a trip to space and back. This third-edition release is a blend of fresh Ground Control and Ground Control aged in Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels, offering a beer that is ready to enjoy now or suitable to cellar for later.
The story of Ground Control’s creation began July 2014, with Mission One of NSP. In partnership with the Civilian Space eXploration Team (CSXT) and Team Hybriddyne, Ninkasi loaded a rocket with 16 vials of brewer’s yeast. A series of unexpected circumstances led to tracking issues, leaving the payload lost on the floor of the Black Rock Desert for 27 days. Due to the extreme desert heat, the yeast was not viable for brewing. An opportunity for Mission Two presented itself with UP Aerospace Inc., a private spaceflight corporation, and in October 2014, six vials of brewer’s yeast traveled above Earth’s atmosphere from Spaceport America on an SL-9 rocket. Reaching a maximum height of 77.3 miles above Earth, the payload containing the yeast touched back down and was immediately transported to Ninkasi’s lab to begin propagation and brewing.
“Whether it’s fellow brewers, beer drinkers or space enthusiasts, Ground Control sparks conversations around human exploration and creativity,” says Floyd. “Each year we release this beer we are thrilled to see what new discussions take place and how fans choose to enjoy this Ground Control with others.”