Whisky is in, but beer is out — homebrew gets the cold shoulder in Antarctica

July 29, 2021
 / 2 mins

The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) has called last drinks on the longstanding tradition of homebrewing among expeditioners in Antarctica. But expeditioners can still have half a bottle of whisky a week. Phew.

The homebrew culture began in the early days when it was difficult to transport alcohol to the stations. While that’s no longer a problem, the brewing tradition’s continued.

Under new policies by the AAD, Australian Antarctic expeditioners will be limited to 10 standard alcoholic drinks a week and home brewing will be banned on Australian Antarctic stations.

The policy will kick in next summer and limits the number of alcoholic beverages expeditioners can take to Antarctica to:

  • Seven cans of full-strength beer per week; or
  • 5 bottles of wine (table and sparkling) per week; or
  • Half a bottle of spirits per week

Homebrewing will be been banned, according to the AAD, because it’s not possible to manage the hygiene standards or the alcohol content.

Officials say the new policies aren’t in response to any incident, but rather an attempt to mitigate the risks associated with living in one of the most desolate places on Earth.

The AAD also plans to build a café for expeditioners, inspired by the Italian Antarctic station. The Italian station serves alcohol and it’s also got a coffee machine, whipped ice cream machine, a slushy machine, chocolate, and a tea bar.

So, beer, wine or spirits? Given this ultimatum, we know what we’d choose. What about you?

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