In recent years, craft beer has made a big push towards getting more portable. Gone are the days when huge IPAs only available in giant 750 ml bottles; now, you’re just as likely to find some of the world’s best brews in a can. But cans don’t solve all of the issues involved in traveling with beer: It’s still a liquid, meaning it’s both heavy and flagged by airport security around the globe. But what if beer wasn’t a liquid?
Making beer more portable by getting it out of its liquid form was the idea behind “Instant Craft Beer” – an experimental project by Tobias Emil Jensen and Tore Gynther, the brewers and owners behind the respected Danish gypsy brewery To Øl. Though a similar concept in the hands of lesser brewers would probably immediately come across as some lame gimmick, the guys behind To Øl lend this idea some real credence – and their explanation of their process and product is as honest as it is intriguing.
Writing for food site Aorta last year, the duo discussed the science and the “hours in the labs” that led to To Øl Instant Craft Beer. The key to the product is freeze drying, which they describe as possibly being “the perfect process to uphold aroma and obtain a split between Water, Dry-Matter and Alcohol – and thereby make Instant Beer.” With help from freeze drying experts they were able to utilize a larger scale freeze drying machine, and test four different beers – “a heavy deep beer brewed with coffee, a fruity IPA brewed with different tropical fruits, a Wild Yeast hop forward IPAs and a fairly dry pilsner” – and broke them down into three components: water, alcohol and the dry-matter – the latter of which is your Instant Craft Beer.