Stem Ciders’ newest experimental cider release is truly one small step for cider, and one giant leap for cider-kind. CAPSTONE is an experimental hoppy cider with raspberry and Meyer lemon created in collaboration with Advanced Space. The Westminster, CO-based company, which supports the sustainable exploration, development, and settlement of space, owns and operates the CAPSTONE mission, among the earliest successful launches supporting NASA’s Artemis missions. The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment or CAPSTONE, is a pathfinding mission to better understand the characteristics of the future orbit of the lunar Gateway, which will support returning humans to the Moon.

This cosmic collaboration aims to draw greater awareness around the incredible work that Advanced Space is doing in the field of lunar exploration and celebrate the historic microwave-sized satellite, which has many partners connected to the state of Colorado.

“We are so thrilled to collaborate with our nearby neighbors at Stem Ciders to celebrate the first commercial CubeSat to operate at the Moon,” said Rex Laceby, Chief of Staff at Advanced Space. “In addition to creating such a unique, pioneering cider, we hope that CAPSTONE can help to better educate Coloradoans about the exciting advancements we’re making to enable the future of space exploration.”

“We wanted to make a fun experimental cider that also mirrored Advanced Space’s ability to problem solve while pushing boundaries as a relatively small organization,” explained Patrick Combs, Director of Liquids for Stem Ciders.

In that spirit of innovation, Combs and the Stem Ciders team sought to replicate elements of the popular Hazy IPA beer style, in cider form. However, it wasn’t as simple as just tossing a bunch of hops into a cider or even simply dry-hopping the cider, a process that Stem previously utilized in their original “Hopped” cider.

“The issue with dry-hopped ciders is that it doesn’t produce the same flavor profiles found in hoppy beers,” said Combs. “The whirlpool hop addition (the first round of hops added after the initial boil) in beer adds certain hop characteristics that can’t be replicated by merely dry-hopping a cider.”

To better capture the full hop essence associated with true Hazy IPAs, Combs first created a hop tea to help replicate the controlled heating process that takes place in the whirlpool hop addition. From there, the cider is conditioned on Meyer lemon, lemon zest, and raspberry puree to help complement the natural berry notes found in the use of Mosaic hops, along with its apple cider base. The result is a hoppy raspberry lemon punch-like cider that truly captures the hop profile of a Hazy IPA.

CAPSTONE will officially debut at the Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, the premiere conference for space professionals taking place at The Broadmoor Hotel. People can capture a can of cider at the Terran Orbital booth on April 19th from 3-5pm. After its debut, CAPSTONE will be available only in cans from all Stem Ciders locations and via Vinoshipper to 38 states beginning April 20th.

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