Thirsty Thursday: Good News, There Will Be Beer On Mars

The ‘King of Beers’ brand prepares to expand its reign to the Red Planet.

Budweiser beer on mars thirsty thursday

It’s a well-known fact that water is in short supply outside of Earth. And while that makes life all but impossible on other planets, worst of all it means that you can’t get a good beer anywhere else in the known universe.

But that might change. Last week, at the SXSW Interactive Festival, Budweiser announced the “Bud On Mars” initiative.

The “King of Beers” brand will partner with the International Space Station (ISS) and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to conduct experiments on how to take and brew beer in space and on Mars.

Budweiser beer on mars thirsty thursday

Bud On Mars

The announcement included a panel discussion with former astronaut Clayton Anderson and de-facto Mars expert Kate Mara, who co-starred in the 2015 movie “The Martian.”

Why have beer on Mars? Because it’ll keep people from going crazy.

“A successful mission will include many key components, including the need to provide crew members with commodities that remind them of home,” Anderson said. And he should know; Anderson completed two space missions, including a 152-day stint aboard the ISS.

Budweiser beer on mars thirsty thursday
Photo credit: Peter Schill

Valerie Toothman, vice president of marketing innovation for Anheuser-Busch, acknowledged that manned travel to Mars is still many years away. The brand also has work to do before it’s ready to send home-brew kits 39 million miles through space.

“We’ve already started to construct a set of experiments to take our barley malt up to the space station to understand what kind of effect those low Earth orbit conditions puts on [it],” she said.

Not only that, but with current technology any trip to Mars would take years. And with limited supplies, that means understanding how to brew beer on another planet, not just in space.

Problems With Beer In Space

There are a number of issues with having beer in space (and probably Mars, but nobody’s been there yet).

Budweiser beer on mars thirsty thursday
Could this be what Clayton Anderson sees next time he looks at liquid in space?

For starters, beer doesn’t even taste as good on a airplane, let alone a space station. Altitude and pressure changes affect taste.

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On top of that, scientists still haven’t figured out how to have carbonated beverages in zero-gravity. As Anderson noted, “As soon as the lid is popped on Earth, you let it ‘fizz’ and you enjoy. In space, it ‘pops,’ and then maybe you’d need to clean everything.”

Still, the future of space travel looks bubbly. Budweiser and CASIS are moving forward with experiments and the beer brand is serious about being the first brew swilled by Martian-auts.

Budweiser beer on mars thirsty thursday

“We know that travel to Mars might still be a decade or two away,” Toothman said. “But this is the first step in the journey in a long-term commitment by [Anheuser Busch] to make sure that when we get there and we achieve that American dream, Budweiser is the beer people will be toasting with and will be enjoying there on Mars.”

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Adam Ruggiero is an all-sport activity junkie - from biking, running, and (not enough) surfing, to ball sports, camping, and cattle farming. If it's outside, it's worth doing. Adam graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism. Likes: unique beer, dogs, stories. Like nots: neckties, escalators, manicured lawns.

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