Today is Wednesday, March 22, 2017 the 80th day of the year with 284 days remaining. The sun roses at 7:10 a.m. and will set at 7:24 p.m. giving us 12 hours and 14 minutes of daylight. Thirty-nine percent of the moon will be visible, setting at 2:04 p.m. On this date in history, 1946, the first U.S. built rocket to leave the earth’s atmosphere reached a height of 50 miles. For all you would-be nerd haters out there, allow Peaks and Pints to drop some empirical knowledge on you: beer brewing is a science, it might not quite be rocket science (don’t try to make beer bottle rockets), but it’s science all the same. In our super-secret floating science lab in the clouds (like the one in The Avengers), we performed a chi-square test of statistical significance on the experimental results that indicated statistical independence of the variables. Or, to put it simply, we recommend the following five craft beers associated, fairly, with rockets. Enjoy our Craft Beer Crosscut 3.22.17: A Rocket Flight. It also happens to be National Goof-off Day.
4.4% ABV, 42 IBU
In 2000, Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan touched down in San Francisco’s historic South Park neighborhood and called it 21st Amendment Brewery (the 21st Amendment, as any dedicated drinker would know, is the one that repealed Prohibition). The brewery produces a line of very tasty brews including Down To Earth, a session IPA that replaced the brewery’s popular Bitter American but continues the story of HAM, the space chimp that was the focal point of its Bitter American cans. Cascade, Mosaic and Warrior hops offers orange marmalade and melon, chased by caramel and biscuity malt on the nose. On the palate, it’s very crisp and dry, with a lightly grainy, toasted malt backbone wrapped in a blanket of oranges. There’s a blast of citrus and juicy melon.
8.2% ABV, 62 IBU
A totally nebular IPA, dude. Elysian Brewing’s Space Dust IPA sends us into orbit with its delicious blend of Yakima Valley Citra and Amarillo hops. It’s built on a simple grist of Northwest pale, C-15 Crystal and Dextri-pils malts. Chinook holds down the bittering and makes a flavor contribution as well, but then Amarillo and Citra reach escape velocity in three separate brewhouse additions, as well as a dry-hopping presence weighty as a dwarf star.
6% ABV, 65 IBU
Inspired by its luminous namesake, Simcoe and Mosaic hops give Ecliptic Brewing’s Quasar Pale Ale an energetic aroma swirling with green onion, garlic, tangerine and pineapple. The flavor, however, rockets across the tongue with melon and pineapple and leaving very little bitterness behind. With a soft, easy touchdown, Quasar is a stellar beer for enjoying out under the sun.
10% ABV, 80 IBU
Consider space. Albert became the first monkey in space June 11, 1948, when NASA sent a V2 rocket carrying him up 83 miles. Laika the dog became the first Earth-born creature to orbit the Earth when the Russians sent her into space atop a Sputnik rocket on Nov. 3, 1957. Countless astronauts have since ventured into space, traveling as far as the moon. So is it surprising that Eugene beer maker Ninkasi Brewing decided to launch several vials of yeast into space aboard a rocket and then retrieve the yeast to brew beer from it? Live long and prosper, Ninkasi. In October 2014, six vials of brewer’s yeast traveled up 77.3 miles aboard a UP Aerospace Inc. rocket, returning safely to Earth and cold-transported back to Ninkasi’s lab in Eugene, where it was propagated and tested before being used to ferment Ground Control, a rich, complex imperial stout brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs, and fermented with an ale yeast that survived a trip to space and back. Enjoy this creamy, milk chocolate stout with almonds, touch of vanilla, bourbon and a little licorice. The mission ends smooth and warm.
9% ABV, 100 IBU
After graduating from Oregon State University’s fermentation sciences program and honing his hoppilicious skills at Pelican Brewing Co. and Rogue’s Tracktown Brewpub, Trevor Howard busted out deep, dank, and delicious craft beers as co-owner and head brewer at Eugene, Oregon’s Hop Valley Brewing Co. Howard commemorated Hop Valley’s 100th batch with the floral and grapefruity phenom Alpha Centauri Binary. A hazy orangey hue from Great Western 2-Row and Munich malts are the fuel to launch a capsule full of Simcoe, Galena, Amarillo, Centennial and Cascade hops.