Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Bars & Spirits

Drink of the Week: Ninkasi Ground Control beer

Oregon's Ninkasi Brewing Company is a staple on the West Coast, and with its distribution range now expanded to Florida, expect to see a few of the brewery's aggressively hopped brews on the shelves of your local retailer. (Total Wine seems to be the place to find them at the moment.)

One of the more ambitious beers in Ninkasi's profile is Ground Control, an imperial stout brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cacao nibs. Oh, and yeast that has traveled to outer space and back.

After a failed mission involving yeast stranded in the Nevada desert following its re-entry into Earth's atmosphere, Ninkasi succeeded in sending some more yeast 77 miles into the sky, which is about 15 miles above the Kármán line, generally acknowledged as the divider between Earth and outer space.

Does it taste different than regular yeast? Not really, but the story is cool and the beer is outstanding: space-black and viscous, with hazelnuts in the nose, followed by prominent cocoa and anise flavors with a touch of plum and raisin. It's 10 percent alcohol by volume, so you'll want to sip it slow.

There is liquid water on Mars, we just experienced a rare Blood Moon eclipse, astronaut Scott Kelly's yearlong stay on the International Space Station has crossed the halfway point — why shouldn't we be drinking space beer down on Earth?

Ninkasi's partner in the yeast launch was UP Aerospace, a private spaceflight company. In 50 years, space tourism may be viable for some people. In the meantime, Ground Control is as close as you're going to get.

Justin Grant, Times correspondent

Comments
Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

Restaurant review: Chile Verde is serving up very solid tacos in an unlikely spot

ST. PETERSBURGThere are a lot of decommissioned gas stations across the country. Some have been reinvented, cleverly made over as upscale restaurants. There’s Big Star in Chicago, Elaia & Olio in St. Louis, Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton, Va., even Bi...
Published: 06/18/18
Taste test: Chocolate chip cookies

Taste test: Chocolate chip cookies

When we started seeing ads for Nestle Toll House cookies already baked and prepackaged, I knew it was time for our tasters to get involved. They are cookie lovers, and one even has his own cookiemaking business. We found the Nestle brand and had hope...
Published: 06/18/18
From soft serve to ice pops, 12 places to get frozen treats

From soft serve to ice pops, 12 places to get frozen treats

I know we have three more months or so of hot-as-dog-breath Tampa Bay summer, but let’s start things off on the right foot with some frozen treats. Ice cream is on my mind after a recent visit to Disney Springs, when I found love in a perfect scoop o...
Published: 06/13/18
Downtown St. Petersburg breakfast staple Dome Grill goes out of business

Downtown St. Petersburg breakfast staple Dome Grill goes out of business

ST. PETERSBURG — Longtime downtown breakfast staple Dome Grill has closed its doors.The restaurant, at 561 Central Avenue N, announced the closing on Facebook on June 10 and will not be relocating to a new location."We have nothing but love and respe...
Published: 06/13/18
Five restaurants worth checking out at Disney Springs in Orlando (w/video)

Five restaurants worth checking out at Disney Springs in Orlando (w/video)

LAKE BUENA VISTA Disney Springs has swiftly become a playground or trial balloon for the country?s celebrity chefs. Art Smith, Masaharu Morimoto, Rick Bayless, Guy Fieri, Tony Mantuano, Wolfgang Puck and others are already on board, with names like ...
Published: 06/13/18
Take grilled potatoes to another level with garlic and rosemary

Take grilled potatoes to another level with garlic and rosemary

By AMERICA’S TEST KITCHENGrilled potatoes are a summer classic. We wanted to put a new spin on this dish by adding rosemary and garlic. Unfortunately, we found it was difficult to add enough flavor to plain grilled potatoes. Coating the potatoes with...
Published: 06/13/18
Recipe for Stuffed Beef Burgers

Recipe for Stuffed Beef Burgers

Hidden inside these tame-looking burgers is a smoky and spicy blend of bacon, chipotle, cheese and something unexpected: pepperoni. Because the ground beef part of these burgers is patted fairly thin, there’s less of a chance you’ll undercook it. For...
Published: 06/13/18
How to cook eggs for dinner: shakshuka, carbonara and more

How to cook eggs for dinner: shakshuka, carbonara and more

Eggs are an underutilized dinner ingredient. Aside from fried rice and a breakfast-for-dinner situation, I rarely use eggs in my cooking past the hour of 4 p.m. It makes no sense. Eggs are a great source of protein, able to be cooked in myriad ways, ...
Published: 06/12/18
Add some sweet heat to your cookout with these jerk chicken skewers

Add some sweet heat to your cookout with these jerk chicken skewers

By Matt BrooksBurgers and dogs may be the traditional staples of a cookout, but when you’re craving something more than meat on bun, a well-assembled skewer is a colorful showstopper on the grill.It’s scientifically proven that food tastes better whe...
Published: 06/12/18
Alcohol-infused ice cream and coffee bar will be downtown St. Petersburg’s newest sweet spot

Alcohol-infused ice cream and coffee bar will be downtown St. Petersburg’s newest sweet spot

ST. PETERSBURG — With coffee, ice cream and sweet liqueur, a new date-night spot is hoping to bring something sweet to downtown St. Petersburg.Beans & Barlour is a new craft coffee bar and dessert lounge set to open in July that plans to serve alcoho...
Published: 06/11/18
Updated: 06/14/18