Many moons ago I came across a web page that discussed portrayals of propulsion in sf stories and the science (or lack of it). One story mentioned in passing was about a man trapped on a moon and using a beer keg (or beer cans) to generate sufficient thrust to get off the planet.

I'm thinking this one is more on the "lack of science" scale but it sounds entertaining.

Unfortunately all I know is that it was published in the 20th century. Shot in the dark but does this ring any bells?

  • In roughly which year or decade did you come across this web page? Apr 5, 2022 at 19:29
  • What a great idea. Let the yeast rise! Apr 6, 2022 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


The Makeshift Rocket by Poul Anderson. When I'm at a proper computer I'll provide more details


Ace Double Cover:

Knud Axel Syrup, chief engineer of the spaceship Mercury Girl, sat and drank his favourite beer and thought about the coming war he was so anxious to avoid. For Grendel – the planetoid on which he was stranded – had been occupied by a band of fiery Irish revolutionaries. And once the rival Anglians discovered this, there response would be speedy and violent.

Then, as Herr Syrup shook up a bottle of brew and let the foam shoot out of its top, he realised suddenly what could be done to get him off Grendel.

And so came about a marvellous spaceship – built of beer kegs, bound by gunk, upholstered with pretzel boxes, and powered by the mighty reaction forces of malted brew!

I wonder if the web site that @raindog308 was reading was "Project Rho"


  • 4
    Holy crap! I was literally just reading that!! I had actually just finished the first part in Astounding, November 1958, published as "A Bicycle Built for Brew." I grabbed the December issue to finish the second part, but got side-tracked into an H. Beam Piper story before finishing, so I hadn't gotten to the beer-powered spaceship part yet.
    – DavidW
    Apr 5, 2022 at 20:10
  • 3
    "The first beer-powered spaceship in history rested beneath a derrick by the main cargo hatch." ("A Bicycle Built for Brew," part 2, by Poul Anderson, Astounding, December 1958)
    – DavidW
    Apr 5, 2022 at 20:13
  • 1
    Yes indeed that was the site! Thank you!
    – raindog308
    Apr 6, 2022 at 3:02
  • 4
    there (sic) response?
    – mcalex
    Apr 6, 2022 at 4:35
  • 1
    Maybe I'm having an emotional day but heck I love this site. Apr 6, 2022 at 17:12

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