It started with monkeys. Then, attention turned to dogs. Even a tortoise made its way into a rocket and eventually, humans were part of the journey into the heavens. Today, we can add something else to the growing list of space- bound objects: Beer.
BridgePort Brewing IPA celebrates 22 years and to commemorate its two- plus decades as the perennial Oregon- brewed thirst quencher, BridgePort Brewing launched its flagship beer into space via balloon for a 90 minute ride above the Earth’s surface. Reaching just slightly beyond the 22 mile mark, the bottle of beer was returned safely to the earth, coasting back to the west Texas desert where it was launched. It landed completely intact about 55 miles away from the initial launch point.
Gregor Mina, Director of Marketing for Bridgeport Brewing, says the decision to launch Bridgeport IPA into space was befitting of a beer that broke so much new ground when it was first released.
“The richness of the region’s hop fields inspired BridgePort and set the benchmark for the IPA style,” said Mina. “Hop boundaries were pushed way out and we felt it would be fun to send the brew that helped shape the category ‘way out there’ into space and mark another first for BridgePort IPA.”
BridgePort IPA was first launched into the Oregon beer market in 1996 and was the first IPA in the Pacific Northwest. It’s difficult to imagine now, but at that time, IPA was unheard of among the beer drinking public. The introduction of Bridgeport IPA was the beginning of a new era in craft beer, one that continues to this day as the craft beer revolution pushes forward, influencing beer drinkers in Oregon and across the United States.
BridgePort Brewery has another important celebration going on at the moment. In addition to BridgePort IPA reaching 22 years of age, the brewery just completed renovation of its brewpub located at 1313 NW Marshall Street in Portland, Oregon. The newly designed brewpub is ready to serve Portland with great beer and equally great food in an enhanced atmosphere.
Space exploration has captured our imagination for more than half a century and several different animals, insects, and objects have made their way into the vastness of space, all in the name of science and discovery. Craft beer is a newcomer to the list and while the use of a balloon is a far cry from a sophisticated SpaceX or NASA rocket, BridgePort IPA can still lay claim to its status as the first craft beer to reach these heights. Here’s to BridgePort IPA for pushing boundaries and here’s to another 22 years as one of the Pacific Northwest’s staple IPA brews.