Ground Control Returns From Ninkasi Brewing

This time of year, my taste buds are always in eager anticipation of all the upcoming delightful, dreamy, dark and delicious barrel-aged beers that begin to arrive as our days grow shorter and shorter.  My wallet isn’t always so happy about it (There are a lot of releases to keep up with!), but my taste buds usually win that battle.

We’ve already seen a few barrel-aged releases this season and now Ninkasi Brewing Company is ready to get in on the action with the return of their popular, ‘space yeast’ utilizing, Ground Control Imperial Stout.  This November they’ll be releasing two Bourbon Barrel-Aged versions of this popular brew in 22 oz bottles.  It will also be available on draft in select markets.  You can also get a taste of Ground Control at two special Oregon events: the Ninkasi Space Beer Dinner at OMSI on November 7th and the Space Oddity Ball at the Ninkasi Tasting Room on November 11th.

Here is the full press release from Ninkasi Brewing Company:

EUGENE, Ore.—Oct. 26, 2017— Three years ago, Ninkasi Brewing Company, an independent craft brewery based in Eugene, Ore., set its sights on a beer launch like no other and in July 2014, the Ninkasi Space Program (NSP) took flight. The mission: send brewer’s yeast to space and return it to Earth to brew a deliciously out-of-this-world beer. The result: an Imperial Stout fermented with spacefaring yeast. Back for its third year and available in time for the holiday season, Ground Control Imperial Stout returns this November to 22-ounce bottles, limited draft, and an exclusive cask strength edition.

Brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise, cocoa nibs and fermented with a space-traveled yeast, Ninkasi Brewing released the first edition of Ground Control April 2015. Since then, the beer has gained a following of space and beer enthusiasts alike. “The Ground Control legacy continues to evolve as we discover new ways to play with the nuances of this beer,” says Jamie Floyd, Ninkasi co-founder and founding brewer. “This year, we aged the beer in Woodford Reserve Bourbon Barrels and blended it with 10 percent fresh Ground Control to enhance the characteristics of the cocoa nibs, hazel nuts and star anise.”

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.

Stay informed about the release of Ground Control by visiting nsp.ninkasibrewing.com or following NinkasiInSpace on Twitter and Instagram.

Ground Control 2017
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.

  • Style: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout Brewed with Oregon Hazelnuts, Star Anise, Cocoa Nibs, and Ale Yeast Sent Into Space
  • Available: November, 2017
  • ABV: 10%
  • IBU: 50
  • OG: 1100
  • Malt: 2-Row Pale, Black, Chocolate, Munich, Crystal, Honey, Special Roast, Peated
  • Hops: Apollo, Bravo, Comet
  • Packaging: 22oz. Bottles, Draft
  • Distribution: Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Maryland; Nevada; New York; Oregon; Utah; Washington; Virginia; Vancouver, British Columbia; and select retailers across the country.

Cask Strength Ground Control 2017
This Cask Strength edition has been aged in Woodford Reserve Double Oaked Bourbon Barrels, offering a dangerously smooth and flavorful take on our favorite space beer.

  • Style: Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout Brewed with Oregon Hazelnuts, Star Anise, Cocoa Nibs, and Ale Yeast Sent Into Space
  • Available: November, 2017
  • ABV: 11%
  • IBU: 50
  • OG: 1100
  • Malt: 2-Row Pale, Black, Chocolate, Munich, Crystal, Honey, Special Roast, Peated
  • Hops: Apollo, Bravo, Comet
  • Packaging: 22oz. Bottles, Draft
  • Distribution: Oregon, Washington

Get the first taste of Ground Control 2017 at these Oregon events!

Ninkasi Space Beer Dinner at OMSI

Nov. 7, 2017, 6pm
Foodies, beer and science lovers unite for the release of Ground Control 2017. Enjoy a beer-pairing dinner created by Bon Appetit’s Executive Chef Kit Zhu and hear from Ninkasi experts about the mission to brew Ground Control. Sample Ground Control 2017 and get an exclusive taste of the Cask Strength edition.

Tickets are available online at https://omsi.edu/calendar/ninkasi-space-beer-dinner.

Space Oddity Ball at the Ninkasi Tasting Room

Nov. 11, 2017, 12-10pm
Join Ninkasi for an out-of-this-world party celebrating the return of Ground Control. This year’s space-themed event will feature an exclusive opportunity to purchase 22-ounce bottles of Cask Strength Ground Control 2017 and a chance to sample Space Flights of all three vintages. Stay tuned to the Ninkasi Facebook page for event details. Free and open to the public.

About Ninkasi Brewing Company
Founded in 2006 by Jamie Floyd and Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi Brewing Company continues to grow from its first batch of Total Domination IPA to the 33rd largest craft brewery in the United States. Independently owned and operated in Eugene, Ore., Ninkasi’s Flagship beers include Total Domination IPA, Tricerahops Double IPA, Dawn of the Red IPA, Hop Cooler Citrus IPA, Pacific Rain Northwest Pale, Helles Belles Helles Lager, and Vanilla Oatis Oatmeal Stout. Ninkasi beers are sold throughout Alaska; Alberta; Arizona; California; Colorado; Idaho; Maryland; Nevada; New York; Oregon; Utah; Washington; Virginia; and Vancouver, British Columbia. Committed to community support and giving, Ninkasi’s Beer Is Love program offers donations to 501(c)(3) organizations throughout its footprint. For more information, call 541.344.2739 or visit www.NinkasiBrewing.com.

The Oregon hazelnuts, star anise, cocoa nibs, space-traveled yeast and expert blending by Jamie Floyd should give 2017 Ground Control nutty, sweet, chocolaty flavors that are out of this World. Watch for it to start appearing on Seattle area shelves in early November.

Drink responsibly and stay safe out there.

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One thought on “Ground Control Returns From Ninkasi Brewing

  1. Pingback: Pike Entire 2017 Arrives Tomorrow | Craft Beer Monger

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