1. Business
March 14, 2017

Crack open a cold one, Budweiser wants to make space beer happen

There’s been a lot of talk recently from the companies that want humans to populate space.

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are leading two of the missions to get people to Mars and beyond.

What about when we finally set up shop on the Moon or on Mars? We’re going to need sustenance to make space living a reality.

At the annual SXSW festival which is currently taking place in Austin, Texas, US-based beverage company Budweiser announced that it wants to make microgravity beer for when we all eventually up stakes and move to the Red Planet.

It won’t be easy. The zero-gravity environment in space means that bubbles in beer, or fizzy drinks in general, don’t have the same effect as they do on Earth.

As well as the zero-gravity aspect, the lack of water on Mars will also make brewing the stuff tricky, and you can can’t taste food as well in space because your tongue swells. Nice.

Budweiser is committed to changing all this.

At its official SXSW panel, the company had Clay Anderson, a retired astronaut, Anheuser Busch, the vice president of innovation at Verlie Toothman, and Patrick O’Neill, the marketing and communications manager at the Centre for the Advancement of Science in Space, which also manages the US lab at the International Space Station.

The panel discussed the future of space colonisation, as well as the research and experiments Budweiser helps to carry out in its mission.

It makes sense that Bud would take on this mission due to its position as one of the US’s best-selling beer brands. In 2015, it sold over 103m cases of beer.

Ricardo Marques, vice president at Budweiser, said:

With this bold, new dream Budweiser is celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit in which our iconic brand was founded upon. Through our relentless focus on quality and innovation, Budweiser can today be enjoyed in every corner of the world, but we now believe it is time for the King of Beers to set its sights on its next destination.

“When the dream of colonizing Mars becomes a reality, Budweiser will be there to toast the next great step for mankind.”

Budweiser isn’t the first company to latch on to this idea. According to the New Scientist, a graduate student at the University of Colorado, with support from Coors, sent a miniature brewing kit aboard a space shuttle to test how space beer would taste. Apparently, it didn’t taste great.

Back in the 1970s, Nasa made the decision to remove wine from the menu for its astronauts on space missions. This was based on the idea that it was “not necessary either for nourishment or to provide a balanced diet,” and “We can expect continued criticism and ridicule … if such a beverage is provided.”

So even if Budweiser achieves its goal, astronauts in the International Space Station might not have the opportunity to enjoy an extra-terrestrial cold brew.

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