The Franchise: Science Fiction Adventure / 1966-present / 12+ TV shows and 13 movies
The Brews: The first is a Marzen with moon dust! ( 5% ABV – Dogfish Head Craft Brewery – Milton, DE). The second is an Imperial Stout with yeast that’s been to space! (10% ABV / Ninkasi Brewing Co. – Eugene, OR).
It’s hard not to like Star Trek. I’m a Next Gen girl first and foremost, but I enjoy all iterations of the franchise. Whether it’s the action, the camp, the drama, the futuristic predictions, the social messages, the tally of Kirk losing his shirt, what have you – there’s literally something in it for everyone. And if you’re among the few scratching your head saying “No, no, Star Trek sucks monkey balls.” then thank you for visiting, you can sulk on back to The Collective now. Unless, of course, you think having a beer in hand might help.
First mention goes to a very special Marzen Lager released back in 2013 by Dogfish Head. Now, Oktoberfest may not have much of a presence in the Star Trek universe (though George Takei did lead the chicken dance several years ago at Cincinatti’s Oktoberfest celebrations). But if it did, I could totally see long tables of Klingons pounding away starry Marzens like this one.
In the interest of not leading you on any further, I’ll let you know right now that, sadly, Celest-Jewel-Ale was a one-batch brew that’s all gone now. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce about this awesomely unique beer from space!
To make it, the Dogfish Head crew hit up the engineering firm ILC Dover, known for making spacesuits for NASA, and got hold of some actual lunar meteorites. Then, they crushed those meteorites down and “steeped like tea” the dust in Celest-Jewel-Ale.
If you’ve ever had a sip of this one (full disclosure, I have not), then you’ve truly gone where most beer fans have not gone before. Needless to say, drinking a beer made with moon rocks has gotta be a lot more pleasant than tasting space via other methods. According to Untappd tasters, the flavor of Celest-Jewel-Ale ranged from “rich and malty Oktoberfest” to “molasses sandpaper.” Most just expressed sheer excitement at drinking a “MOON BEER!!!”
For a space beer you have an actual shot at getting (maybe), there’s Ninkasi Brewing’s Ground Control. Several years ago, the Oregon brewery decided that they wanted to go beyond just earth-bound ingredients. After one initial failed launch earlier, success came in October 2014 when six vials of brewers yeast traveled aboard a rocket (with private spaceflight corporation, UP Aerospace Inc.) a total of 77.3 miles in altitude and then returned safely to Earth.
This yeast was promptly taken via cold transport to Ninkasi’s Oregon brewery, where they propagated and tested it to make sure everything was A-OK for our Earthling consumption. The ale yeast was then used to ferment Ground Control, a big Imperial Stout with hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs for extra yummy richness – I’d like to see the Enterprise crew try to get something this desserty and complex out of their food synthesizer!
Ninkasi first released Ground Control in 2015, then again in 2017 (along with a Cask vintage). This one’s meant to mellow out even further with age, so until they brew another vintage, you might actually stand a chance finding some aging bottles at a specialty bottle shop or online trade. In the meantime, until Dogfish Head (or another daring brewer) manages to get their hands on some more moon dust, you can capture the feeling of intrepid space-exploration with these *bonus brews*
- Space Dust / IPA / Elysian Brewing – Seattle, WA
- Roswell Alien / Amber Ale / Sierra Blance Brewing – Moriarty, NM
- Star Trek – Captain’s Holiday / Pale Ale / Shmaltz Brewing – Troy, NY
- Planet Lovetron / NEIPA / Revision Brewing – Sparks, NV
- Captain Kirk’s Cream Ale / Cream Ale / Tustin Brewing – Tustin, CA
- I-P-Alien / NEIPA / Odd13 – Lafayette, CO
- Space Rex / Hazy IPA / Fremont Brewing – Seattle, WA