It's the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing, and Beer Brands Are Stoked
July 20 will mark one giant anniversary for mankind. On that date exactly 50 years ago, Neil Armstrong first set foot on the moon. And if you’re looking for a beverage to toast Apollo 11’s semicentennial, a number of breweries — including the biggest of them all — have beers to commemorate the occasion.
Yesterday, St. Louis’s largest independent craft brewery, Schlafly, announced it was introducing a special 12-pack sampler called Lunar Lager, featuring four new lagers specifically brewed in honor of the moon landing: Lift-Off Lager, Apollo’s Orbit Black Lager, Moon Walk Dunkel, and The Eagle Has Landed American Lager. “Apollo 11 is one of the most exciting feats for humankind, in our nation and beyond, and its impact clearly lives on to 2019,” Founding Brewer Stephen Hale said in a statement. “We thought that the 50th anniversary of such a cultural phenomenon deserved a special beer to celebrate so we are releasing four.” Hammering home the tribute, the packaging features a ‘60s flare, including fonts inspired by popular records of the time and colors borrowed from 1969 Ford and GM cars.
However, in a (maybe not) odd coincidence, today, St. Louis’s biggest name in beer, Budweiser, announced its own malty tribute to our astronauts. Anheuser-Busch has released a limited-edition Budweiser Discovery Reserve American Red Lager as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. The brand states that this new brew is “inspired by an archival Budweiser recipe from the time of the Apollo Moon missions,” and the label features 11 stars to “represent the Apollo 11 mission,” as well “alternating bottle caps [that] represent both our footsteps on the Moon and our next frontier, Mars.”
Of course, celebrating one of humanity’s greatest accomplishments isn’t limited to any one brewery, and some smaller brands have also been crafting tributes to Apollo 11 in the months leading up to this huge milestone. For instance, in November, San Jose’s Clandestine Brewing released its Apollo-11 double IPA including a double dry hop addition of, fittingly, Apollo hops. And in December, Dallas’s Celestial Beerworks debuted its Apollo 11 New England-style IPA in honor of the forthcoming anniversary. Even in England, the brewery Exmoor Ales in Somerset released a triple American hopped golden American pale ale called Apollo last summer, attempting to get ahead of the inevitable 50th-anniversary beer trend by jumping the gun a year early (despite the fact that no Brits have ever walked on the moon).
With over 7,000 breweries across the United States, many of which are small and local, it’s almost certain there have been other moon landing tribute beers — and even more likely, with three months to go until the anniversary, there will probably plenty more like these to come. You can begin your countdown now… Three… Two… One…