SNOLAB launches Cosmic Rays for 10th anniversary

February 08, 2022 — Local Community
A glass of Cosmic Rays lager. Photo by 46 North Brewing.

Sudbury, ON – SNOLAB and the REPAIR Collaboration have teamed up with 46 North Brewing for a special project to celebrate SNOLAB’s 10th anniversary. The result is Cosmic Rays, a clean, crisp, easy drinking beer that was brewed with yeast cultured 2km underground at SNOLAB, Canada’s deep underground science laboratory. Cosmic Rays is a charity beer with a portion of the proceeds from sales being donated to the Northern Cancer Foundation.

“SNOLAB is happy to work with 46 North and the REPAIR collaboration on this exciting initiative that will kick off our 10-year celebrations,” said Samantha Kuula, SNOLAB’s Chief Business Officer. “We are raising awareness (and a glass of beer!) for an amazing local business, highlighting the incredible science happening here in Sudbury, all while supporting a key local charity – it’s a stellar combination!”

This unique partnership was initiated by Chris Thome and Jake Pirkkanen, researchers with the REPAIR experiment out of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, who have been running life science experiments deep underground at SNOLAB since 2016. “REPAIR is excited to be part of this collaboration between 46 North and SNOLAB,” says Chris Thome. “Our project is investigating the biological effects of natural background radiation, including cosmic rays, and one of the model systems that we are using in our experiments is yeast. As cancer researchers, we are also thrilled that a portion of proceeds will go to support a great local charity.” 

Since all life on earth has evolved in the presence of natural cosmic radiation, it is thought to be essential for normal cellular function. But what is the optimal range? The REPAIR team is looking for the answer by culturing a variety of model organisms at SNOLAB – including yeast. Yeast can survive for long periods, making it ideal for long-term exposures to different radiation environments, such as the ultra-low environment at SNOLAB or the very high radiation environments in space. 

The line of yeast for this beer came from the local experts at 46 North Brewing. REPAIR researchers took the yeast underground to SNOLAB and cultured it there before transporting it back to surface and to the brewery where the brew team crafted this flavourful lager. “Cosmic Rays pours brilliantly clear with a golden yellow colour. The beer finishes dry, crisp and clean with a gentle fruitiness aftertaste”, described Graham Orser, Owner and Brewmaster of 46 North Brewing.

Cosmic Rays is now available by the glass, growler or tall can. It can be sampled at 46 North Brewing from their tasting room, purchased from their storefront, or ordered from their online shop


SNOLAB is Canada’s deep underground research laboratory, located 2km underground in Vale’s Creighton mine near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. It provides an ideal low background environment for the study of extremely rare physical interactions. SNOLAB’s science program focuses on astroparticle physics, specifically neutrino and dark matter studies, though its unique location is also well-suited to biology and geology experiments.


REPAIR is a research collaboration based at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. They use unique conditions at SNOLAB to study the effect of very low background radiation levels on living organisms. All living systems have evolved and adapted in the presence of natural background ionizing radiation. REPAIR is testing this by culturing a variety of model organisms within SNOLAB and monitoring their growth, survival, DNA damage and mutation rates. 

About 46 North

46 North Brewing is a small craft brewery located in Sudbury Ontario that is dedicated to providing the highest quality craft beer possible. They opened their doors in 2019 and have been serving up an array of innovative beers and fostering collaborations in the microbrew scene and with community partners. 

About the Northern Cancer Foundation: 

The Northern Cancer Foundation prides itself on its mandate of being the fundraising vehicle for the Northeast Cancer Centre (NECC) in Sudbury, Ontario. Every penny received by the Foundation stays in the community and directly supports vital patient care, new equipment purchases, and world-class cancer research in our own backyard. 

Media Contact: 

Blaire Flynn, Senior Education and Outreach Officer | 705 692 7000 ext. 2806