This Beer Was Developed to Process Kodak Super 8 Film

The popular craft brewery Dogfish Head is launching a new gose beer called SuperEIGHT. The brew shares more than a name with Kodak’s famous Super 8 film format: the beer was actually designed to process the film.

The 5.3% ABV beer is made with 8 special ingredients: prickly pear, mango, boysenberry, blackberry, raspberry, elderberry, kiwi juices and a touch of quinoa, along with an ample addition of Hawaiian sea salt.

Back in 2018, Dogfish founder and CEO Sam Calagione joined the Kodak podcast The Kodakery to chat about analog processes in the digital age. And during the conversation, Calagione learned that the heightened levels of acidity and vitamin C in certain beers can actually allow them to serve as processing agents for film stocks.

Dogfish founder Sam Calagione.

It just so happened that Dogfish was already working on a new beer that would feature extra acidity and vitamin C, so Calagione had them specifically design it to process Kodak Super 8 film well. The result was SuperEIGHT, and early batches of the beer were sent to Kodak to confirm that it could successfully develop film.

Here’s the recipe for using SuperEIGHT beer as a developer with Kodak Tri-X film:

Want to see how well the beer does as a film developer? Dogfish actually teamed up with Kodak to create a short film shot on Super 8 film and developed with SuperEIGHT beer:

“From the can to the stop bath, there’s a whole lot of science and alternative processing that takes place to bring the imagery to life,” Dogfish says. “And it’s so totally worth it.”

Doghead SuperEIGHT will be available across the United States in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans in late March or early April. The “vibrant red” beer “has a slightly tart taste and pleasantly refreshing finish, with delicious flavors of berries and watermelon.”