Back in February, NASA announced a thrilling new milestone in the quest to find interplanetary alien life. Using state-of-the-art telescopes, astronomers were able to identify a new solar system ‘close’ to Earth with all the right ingredients to potentially sustain life.
Named the TRAPPIST-1, this solar system contains a dwarf star and seven orbiting planets. Three of these planets fall into the so-called ‘goldilocks’ zone – an area where conditions are neither too hot nor too cold to support life.
While the story made headlines all across our planet, this newly discovered solar system has a unique connection to brewing that only beer aficionados might know… The group of Belgian scientists who discovered the new planetary system named it after their favourite brew: the Trappist beer. Each of the seven planets within the system were also nicknamed after famed Trappist beers like Rochefort, Orval and Achel.
Trappist beer is brewed within the walls of Trappist monasteries, with historical roots dating back to the 17th century. Today, there are only 11 monasteries in the world that currently brew and sell authentic Trappist beers – over half of which happen to be in Belgium.
Of course a lot more research needs to be completed before we know if the planets can actually support life or not. Until then, we’ll just have ponder the possibilities – preferably over a cold pint of classic Belgian beer.