Platform Tavern in Southampton brews special unfreezable beer for scientists at the South Pole

Daily Echo: A pint fit for the Antarctic -  and sub zero temperatures A pint fit for the Antarctic - and sub zero temperatures

Brewers in Southampton have invented a special beer that can withstand the coldest place on Earth - the South Pole.

Unlike normal ales, the drink is designed to retain its flavour after being frozen in temperatures of minus 89 degrees celsius.

As many as 20 pints are due to be shipped 10,000 miles to the Southernmost continent this week for engineers and scientists working there.

The team from the British Antarctic Survey and the National Oceanography Centre, based in Southampton, will be conducting research at Subglacial Lake Ellsworth for three months.

Members asked if it was possible the brew could be made by their local pub the Platform Tavern, after hearing it had a microbrewery.

They wanted a special pint for their hard work - but it would have to survive the long and freezing journey to the Antarctic.

The ale, called Pole-Axed, is currently being dispensed into plastic bottles, which will then have the air squeezed out of them.

The process allows the liquid to expand when frozen and prevents the vital gas from escaping.

After it reaches its destination it will be kept safe until Christmas Day when the team will drink it as part of their celebrations.

Aidan Lavin and Stewart Cross developed the drink at the Platform Tavern's Dancing Man Brewery.

The pair spent a painstaking month fermenting the beer, which is based on a 200-year-old Indian Pale Ale.

Aidan, 32, said: "The beer had to withstand the a long journey and freezing temperatures so we agreed it must be strong.

"We looked at 200-year-old IPA recipes for inspiration because those beers were created to survive being exported all the way to India.

"Our final recipe includes special hops that have been imported from America, which give it a fruity taste.

"It took 10 hours to brew and then we left it for a month to ferment, during that time I had to check it every day to make sure it was right."

He added: "When it was finished we let the guys from the NOC test it and it went down really well. We're really pleased with the result."

Rob Brown, from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, is one of the team who will be enjoying the beer in Antarctica.

The engineer said: "The project at Lake Ellsworth is extremely big so a beer will be well deserved at the end of it.

"We've never asked a brewer to do this kind of thing before but we thought it would be a nice idea."

Due to its success, Pole-Axed will also go on sale in The Platform Tavern as well as off-licences in Southampton at £4 a bottle.

Comments (9)

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10:58am Thu 11 Oct 12

southy says...

With Edinburgh University leading the expedition it be very doubtful alcohol will be allowed on the field expedition and be left back at base camp, Other groups involved are Aberdeen (2nd leaders) Aberystwyth Bristol Durham Lancaster Northumbria Queen's University with BAS and NOC and invite Montana University and funded by NERC.
With Edinburgh University leading the expedition it be very doubtful alcohol will be allowed on the field expedition and be left back at base camp, Other groups involved are Aberdeen (2nd leaders) Aberystwyth Bristol Durham Lancaster Northumbria Queen's University with BAS and NOC and invite Montana University and funded by NERC. southy

1:53pm Thu 11 Oct 12

sameoldscene says...

Only 20 pints? Stinges. Can see a fight breaking out down there over whos "testing" it.
Only 20 pints? Stinges. Can see a fight breaking out down there over whos "testing" it. sameoldscene

2:28pm Thu 11 Oct 12

bobbyboy says...

That should be chilling for them at christmas nothing like a good pint where ever you are should go down well.But only 20 pints they will have to make icecubes with it and pass equal shares around.
That should be chilling for them at christmas nothing like a good pint where ever you are should go down well.But only 20 pints they will have to make icecubes with it and pass equal shares around. bobbyboy

2:31pm Thu 11 Oct 12

HerbertC says...

southy wrote:
With Edinburgh University leading the expedition it be very doubtful alcohol will be allowed on the field expedition and be left back at base camp, Other groups involved are Aberdeen (2nd leaders) Aberystwyth Bristol Durham Lancaster Northumbria Queen's University with BAS and NOC and invite Montana University and funded by NERC.
Struggling to see the point of this comment. Obviously you've done some Googling and shared the (out of date) results with us. Or do you have inside info that alcohol will not be allowed?

A bit more careful use of google (and Facebook!) would show that the lead scientist used to be at Edinburgh, but is now at Bristol. None of those other universities will have people in the field apart from NOC and BAS (who lead the expedition/logistics and will presumably decide whether alcohol is allowed).
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: With Edinburgh University leading the expedition it be very doubtful alcohol will be allowed on the field expedition and be left back at base camp, Other groups involved are Aberdeen (2nd leaders) Aberystwyth Bristol Durham Lancaster Northumbria Queen's University with BAS and NOC and invite Montana University and funded by NERC.[/p][/quote]Struggling to see the point of this comment. Obviously you've done some Googling and shared the (out of date) results with us. Or do you have inside info that alcohol will not be allowed? A bit more careful use of google (and Facebook!) would show that the lead scientist used to be at Edinburgh, but is now at Bristol. None of those other universities will have people in the field apart from NOC and BAS (who lead the expedition/logistics and will presumably decide whether alcohol is allowed). HerbertC

2:37pm Thu 11 Oct 12

southy says...

HerbertC wrote:
southy wrote:
With Edinburgh University leading the expedition it be very doubtful alcohol will be allowed on the field expedition and be left back at base camp, Other groups involved are Aberdeen (2nd leaders) Aberystwyth Bristol Durham Lancaster Northumbria Queen's University with BAS and NOC and invite Montana University and funded by NERC.
Struggling to see the point of this comment. Obviously you've done some Googling and shared the (out of date) results with us. Or do you have inside info that alcohol will not be allowed?

A bit more careful use of google (and Facebook!) would show that the lead scientist used to be at Edinburgh, but is now at Bristol. None of those other universities will have people in the field apart from NOC and BAS (who lead the expedition/logistics and will presumably decide whether alcohol is allowed).
No googling I known about it for a few years now, its a basic rule all alcohol remains at base camp, lead scientist is at Bristol I know, but Edinburgh will still be leaders in the field and will be the first on site to set up field camp, Bristol will be going out with Aberdean.
[quote][p][bold]HerbertC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: With Edinburgh University leading the expedition it be very doubtful alcohol will be allowed on the field expedition and be left back at base camp, Other groups involved are Aberdeen (2nd leaders) Aberystwyth Bristol Durham Lancaster Northumbria Queen's University with BAS and NOC and invite Montana University and funded by NERC.[/p][/quote]Struggling to see the point of this comment. Obviously you've done some Googling and shared the (out of date) results with us. Or do you have inside info that alcohol will not be allowed? A bit more careful use of google (and Facebook!) would show that the lead scientist used to be at Edinburgh, but is now at Bristol. None of those other universities will have people in the field apart from NOC and BAS (who lead the expedition/logistics and will presumably decide whether alcohol is allowed).[/p][/quote]No googling I known about it for a few years now, its a basic rule all alcohol remains at base camp, lead scientist is at Bristol I know, but Edinburgh will still be leaders in the field and will be the first on site to set up field camp, Bristol will be going out with Aberdean. southy

3:34pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Shoong says...

southy wrote:
HerbertC wrote:
southy wrote:
With Edinburgh University leading the expedition it be very doubtful alcohol will be allowed on the field expedition and be left back at base camp, Other groups involved are Aberdeen (2nd leaders) Aberystwyth Bristol Durham Lancaster Northumbria Queen's University with BAS and NOC and invite Montana University and funded by NERC.
Struggling to see the point of this comment. Obviously you've done some Googling and shared the (out of date) results with us. Or do you have inside info that alcohol will not be allowed?

A bit more careful use of google (and Facebook!) would show that the lead scientist used to be at Edinburgh, but is now at Bristol. None of those other universities will have people in the field apart from NOC and BAS (who lead the expedition/logistics and will presumably decide whether alcohol is allowed).
No googling I known about it for a few years now, its a basic rule all alcohol remains at base camp, lead scientist is at Bristol I know, but Edinburgh will still be leaders in the field and will be the first on site to set up field camp, Bristol will be going out with Aberdean.
Yeh, but who cares?
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]HerbertC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: With Edinburgh University leading the expedition it be very doubtful alcohol will be allowed on the field expedition and be left back at base camp, Other groups involved are Aberdeen (2nd leaders) Aberystwyth Bristol Durham Lancaster Northumbria Queen's University with BAS and NOC and invite Montana University and funded by NERC.[/p][/quote]Struggling to see the point of this comment. Obviously you've done some Googling and shared the (out of date) results with us. Or do you have inside info that alcohol will not be allowed? A bit more careful use of google (and Facebook!) would show that the lead scientist used to be at Edinburgh, but is now at Bristol. None of those other universities will have people in the field apart from NOC and BAS (who lead the expedition/logistics and will presumably decide whether alcohol is allowed).[/p][/quote]No googling I known about it for a few years now, its a basic rule all alcohol remains at base camp, lead scientist is at Bristol I know, but Edinburgh will still be leaders in the field and will be the first on site to set up field camp, Bristol will be going out with Aberdean.[/p][/quote]Yeh, but who cares? Shoong

7:01pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Gainer T Gopher says...

well if they would like to send some over here to Saskatchewan and I will see if it freezes when the temperature drops to -40°C..... Happy to help with any beer research....
well if they would like to send some over here to Saskatchewan and I will see if it freezes when the temperature drops to -40°C..... Happy to help with any beer research.... Gainer T Gopher

10:05pm Thu 11 Oct 12

cantthinkofone says...

southy wrote:
With Edinburgh University leading the expedition it be very doubtful alcohol will be allowed on the field expedition and be left back at base camp, Other groups involved are Aberdeen (2nd leaders) Aberystwyth Bristol Durham Lancaster Northumbria Queen's University with BAS and NOC and invite Montana University and funded by NERC.
What's your point?

Bizarre comment, really.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: With Edinburgh University leading the expedition it be very doubtful alcohol will be allowed on the field expedition and be left back at base camp, Other groups involved are Aberdeen (2nd leaders) Aberystwyth Bristol Durham Lancaster Northumbria Queen's University with BAS and NOC and invite Montana University and funded by NERC.[/p][/quote]What's your point? Bizarre comment, really. cantthinkofone

6:50pm Sun 14 Oct 12

Funk Dr Spock says...

Great pub n they brew great beer went there a few months ago to watch a local bluegrass band and not sure what was better the amazing music or the amazing beer .Not tried Poleaxed yet but will do ,keep it up The Platform Tavern fantastic stuff....
Great pub n they brew great beer went there a few months ago to watch a local bluegrass band and not sure what was better the amazing music or the amazing beer .Not tried Poleaxed yet but will do ,keep it up The Platform Tavern fantastic stuff.... Funk Dr Spock

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