“Houston, we have a problem.” That problem is that more breweries don’t take drastic measures in brewing their beer like the crazies/nerds at Ninkasi just took. Recently, they combined two of my favorite things into one grand event: beer and space. These guys decided, “Sure, our beer is good…but we want to send something to space.” So, they loaded some yeast onto a rocket that was bound for space. According to Space.com, on October 23, 2014 a successful launch from Spaceport America in New Mexico saw 4 vials of brewer’s yeast experience about 4 minutes of weightlessness. Ninkasi incorporated some of the ale yeast from that trip to space into its newest offering: Ninkasi Ground Control Imperial Stout.
This beer pours like motor oil: thick, black and sludgy. It had a cap of tan sudsy head that streaked down the glass a bit. Chocolate and faint coffee and bourbon aromas were about all that made it out of the glass on the smell. Strong chocolaty bitterness came through on the taste. Super thick mouthfeel with little carbonation, though more than most other stouts I have had, to break it up made it a bit syrupy. Flavors of star anise came through in the middle, with a little nuttiness fading back to the bittersweet chocolate on the finish.
Although I really wanted this beer to be 5-worthy, due to its long journey to a place near and dear to my heart, alas it was just a little lacking: