Ninkasi’s New Bourbon Barrel-Aged Ground Control Beer Lands Soon

Back in 2014, Eugene’s Ninkasi Brewing Company sent six vials of brewer’s yeast 77 miles up into space in a rocket. When it arrived back to Earth, they brewed up “Ground Control” and sold the delicious results. The 2016 edition has landed with exciting results.

The Ground Control project is returning in April of this year with a Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise, and cocoa nibs. You can check out their video documenting the process below.

The yeast in the new brew made a trip to space and returned to be used in the new deep, dark brew.

“Barrel aging Ground Control brings the flavors together in a fantastic way,” explains Ninkasi founding brewer and co-founder, Jamie Floyd. “The wood itself imparts subtle vanilla flavors while the Bourbon notes enhance the rich flavors of the cocoa nibs and hazelnuts without overshadowing the star anise.” Smooth, flavorful, robust and spirited, Bourbon Barrel-Aged Ground Control marks another step for Ninkasi and its quest to push the brewing industry forward.

Weighing in at 10% ABV and 80 IBUs, this Imperial Stout promises to be big and bold, following in the footsteps of its predecessor. It’s been aged in Old Forester Bourbon barrels for four months.

Available April 12, 2016, each 22-ounce bottle of Ground Control features a collectible outer-box illustrated by Eugene-based gig poster artist and illustrator, Neal Williams. In a partnership between Ninkasi’s in-house art department and Williams, the beer’s artworks features a psychedelic view of space with floating astronauts and barrels. Williams’ artwork can also be found on limited edition merchandise celebrating the release of Ground Control available at