My excitement for Sapporo space beer can be summarized by Okayama University biologist Manabu Sugimoto, one of the Japanese scientists involved with the use of space-grown barley in beer.
"In the future, we may reach a point where humans will spend an extended period of time in space and must grow food to sustain ourselves [...] In the long run, we hope our space research will be not just about producing food,
Note the highlighted text: "but about enjoying food and relaxing [in space]."
And herein lies the problem. Sapporo's space beer is actually a misnomer; it should be called "Sopporo brewed-from-ingredients-grown-in-microgravity beer" - the beer wasn't produced for being enjoyed in space. Bummer.
The Wet Burp Cometh
Surely any beer can be consumed in space, right? Wrong. Not only would the launch costs be astronomical to get a crate of Stella into orbit, it's a physical impracticality to consume any carbonated beverage in space.
Why? Zero-G has a rather nasty side effect of the "wet burp" phenomenon.
Think about it, what happens when you swallow a mouthful of beer on Earth? It goes down your throat and sits in your stomach. Gravity ensures the fluid stays in your stomach, allowing the carbon dioxide bubbles to expand and rise to the top of the fluid. You can then sit back and let out an impressive burp to impress your friends as the carbon dioxide is vented out of your mouth.