PORTLAND (KGW)-- We've known for a long time that Portlanders love beer. But we never knew Portlanders loved beer so much that they would launch it toward space!
Now, thanks to a Kickstarter project, a group of Portland beer lovers (who also happen to be amateur rocketeers), are getting ready to launch the first ever two-stage rocket filled with kegs of beer.
Team Numb, as they call themselves, sought to raise $2,000 on their Kickstarter. They surpassed their goal and finishing with $2,235 on June 15. The money will help them launch a rocket with two separate stages, each with a payload of beer inside.
One stage will hold a 5-gallon keg, and the second stage will contain a 15-gallon keg, both full pale ale from Portland's Burnside Brewery. They expect the rocket to go close to 20,000 feet in the air, at over 650 mph.
The team has been building and launching high powered rockets for over 15 years. This new trick, which they call "kegetry" or "keg-lofting," started in 2008, when they successfully launched and recovered their first single-stage keg rocket. It was 11 feet tall, 350lbs, and full of 15-gallons of an IPA from Roots Organic Brewery. Then afterward, they tapped the keg, and enjoyed the rocket beer.
That keg launched over 6,200 feet into the air. Then in 2012, they did it again, and launched a rocket 7,700 feet.
Dave Barbour told Mashable the idea came from a night the group spent drinking at a local bar.
"The bartender said, 'You guys seem to really like rockets,'" Barbour remembered. "We laughed and explained that it was a hobby that had turned addiction."
So the curious bartender asked a great question - had they ever built a motor big enough to launch a keg? And the rest is history.
Hopefully this two-stage launch will be successful in September. Otherwise, that will be a waste of a lot of valuable beer.