Budweiser generated considerable buzz last March when they announced that they were exploring ways to brew beer on Mars at a SXSW technology forum. And no matter their real intentions the free publicity gambit went viral for a day or two and then thankfully disappeared…But now they’ve announced that they’re sending Bud barley into space.
It’s true (even if it probably isn’t).
Budweiser has partnered with CASIS (the Center for Advancement of Science in Space), the organization that oversees the International Space Station’s US Laboratory, and with Space Tango, which operates two commercial research facilities within that space lab, to conduct a series of experiments.
Here’s the deal, (and we’re still not buying that they’re really serious about this whole ‘beer and Mars’ thing beyond it being a marketing opportunity). But the world’s largest brewing company does have money to burn…and it appears that they’re burning it by sending barley to space and back.
If things go as planned, Budweiser barley will be part of a Space X cargo mission scheduled to launch on December 4th from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station based in Florida.
That barley will remain in space for a month before returning to earth.
The Bud barley will then undergo spacy analysis to determine if its time in space altered the grain in any way, and to learn if barley germination is even possible in a micro-gravity environment.
So far, so good, but we’re still thinking that this global beer leader is more serious about going viral than they are going intergalactic…just sayin.’
As we’ve explained in Why Brewing Beer On Mars Will Be Tough, Budweiser is facing difficult challenges in their quest to brew beer on Mars.
First we have to successfully get human beings to the Red Planet, and scientists think that that’s seven decades away if things go well (and if you’ve seen The Martian you know that things don’t tend to go well).
On the positive side, those seventy years will allow AB InBev ample time to get their marketing game together and their Mars Beer labels approved by the sometimes sluggish TTB.
Also Budweiser will have time to consider if they want to introduce a Mars Light brand (which we strongly suggest that they do. given the planet’s minimal gravity).
Maybe Budweiser will use their eventual Martian hub to explore ‘craftier’ styles while they’re at it. Perhaps a Mars Märzen will make its way into the intergalactic Anheuser-Busch portfolio. And why not a Mars Red Ale?
And maybe they’ll purchase an intergalactic beer website to help hype their new Mars brand (that kinda thing seems to have worked well here on earth).
Finally we advise serious caution once Budweiser’s space barley has returned to Earth. As anyone who’s seen, the Alien movies knows all too well …this kind of space-bound experimentation can sometimes go horribly wrong.