Budweiser wasn’t kidding about its plans to brew “the first beer on Mars.”
After announcing its initiative at the South by Southwest conference in March, Budweiser is reportedly taking its next (small) steps toward accomplishing its out-of-this-world goal by sending beer-making grains — namely, barley — into space later this year.
According to a press release, in early December SpaceX will be delivering the shipment of barley to the International Space Station, where it will remain in orbit for a month. Once back on Earth, the barley will be analyzed in order to determine how the grain reacts to microgravity environments.
Budweiser’s “innovation team” will also experiment with germinating the exposed barley seeds.
“Budweiser is always pushing the boundaries of innovation and we are inspired by the collective American Dream to get to Mars,” said Budweiser Vice President Ricardo Marques in a statement. “We are excited to begin our research to brew beer for the red planet.”
The company said its efforts might also provide insight on its agricultural practices here on Earth, although it maintained that its foremost goal is to one day supply “a colonized red planet the same enjoyments provided here on Earth.”
Budweiser executives originally announced the company’s plans back on March 11 during SXSW in Austin, Texas, at a panel discussion that also included retired astronaut Clayton "Clay" Anderson and actress Kate Mara, of the 2015 film “The Martian.”
At the time, Budweiser also explained the challenges it faced in brewing beer in a Mars-like environment, including limited water resources, limited sunlight for growing hops and atmospheric pressure that would turn traditional beer to "foamy slop."
Nevertheless, the company vowed to be ready to "toast on Mars" when mankind finally colonizes the planet.
"With this bold, new dream Budweiser is celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit in which our iconic brand was founded upon,” said Marques in a press release issued shortly after the initial announcement.
“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’s barley launch is set to take place on Dec. 4, 2017.