In a World first, Lithuania’s AF Alaus Darykla (AF Brewery) has pioneered a technique of making beer from just air and water.
The equipment used in this process looks reminiscent of the apparatus that brought the monster to life in Universal’s 1931 film of Mary Shelly’s ‘Frankenstein’ and literally, through sparks and alchemy, sucks one methyl (-CH3) group, one methylene (-CH2-) group, and one hydroxyl (-OH) group of molecules out of the air and combines them to form C2H5OH – Ethanol, or Ethyl Alcohol. The alcohol is then collected in small vessels (the process is extremely power intensive and only produces very small quantities).
How the malt and hop character is obtained is nothing short of ingenious. Jets of the produced alcohol are literally squirted at super-high speed through compressed blocks of the desired hops and malts. The velocity of these jetstreams causes another chemical reaction and literally rips hop and malt molecules from the stock, therefore imparting their flavour into the alcohol. The flavoured alcohol then drip-feeds into much larger water vessels, regulated to give the beer’s desired strength, or ABV.
A spokesman from AF Alaus Darykla, head brewer Professor Robertas su Protosmegenimis, told us: “using jets of alcohol to get the flavours from hops and malt saves fuel and energy, and therefore the environment, by not having to mash when we brew a beer and because of the speed of the alcohol jet, the material dries almost immediately and we are able to use the same hops and malt over and over, almost indefinitely.” He continued: “We see no reason why this process couldn’t be used to add, for example, fruit or spice flavourings to our beers too”.
The experimental process is still being refined and beers are extremely hard to come by, but BeerHeadZ have managed to secure a keg consignment of their first beer called Balandžio Mėn, a supremely hoppy 4.9% American Pale Ale style. We can absolutely guarantee this will not be around long!
Available from today at all BeerHeadZ bars.