There have been lots of crazy announcements at South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW), like Levi and Google’s smart jacket that gives wearers the ability to control music and lights with their sleeve; a pair of sunglasses that doubles as a Visa card, or the staggering fact that PornHub delivered a combined runtime of 5,200 centuries of porn videos in 2016.
But for the beer geeks among us, it’s another report from Austin that has us totally spaced out: On Saturday Budweiser officially announced its plans to be the first beer on Mars.
Granted, the “ambitious commitment,” as the company calls it, is not much more than that; as far as we can tell, as no official research project has been initiated. That being said, from a purely financial standpoint, if there is one brewing company that could pull off beer in space, Anheuser-Busch would be it. The brewing company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), was once again named the top brewing company in the United States based on 2016 beer sales volume, and has more resources than any company when it comes to making beer and sending it long distances.
(In case you missed it, along with Budweiser and Bud Light, the company owns 10 Barrel, Bass, Beck’s, Blue Point, Breckenridge, Busch, Devils Backbone, Elysian, Four Peaks, Golden Road, Goose Island, Karbach, King Cobra, Landshark, Michelob, Natural Rolling Rock, Shock Top, Wild Series brands, and ZiegenBock brands, not to mention its partial ownership of Coastal, Craft Brew Alliance, Fordham, Kona, Old Dominion, Omission, Red Hook and Widmer Brothers.)
The Red Planet’s Budweiser, which the company says will be a “microgravity beer,” was announced during a panel discussion at SXSW with Anheuser-Busch Vice President of Innovation Valerie Toothman, retired astronaut Clayton “Clay” Anderson and other “space industry experts,” with actress Kate Mara (The Martian) as moderator.
During the panel, topics covered included the challenges and solutions for getting Budweiser to Mars (a 39-million-mile journey, Budweiser says), as well as the “experiments and research Budweiser hopes to explore.”
“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,” says Budweiser Vice President Ricardo Marques.
Budweiser can hope and dream all they want (hell, who knows what they’re capable of), but our vote still goes to the student brewing team that’s competing to land its beer on the moon. That project, at least, has science and Google to back it. (And their beer probably won't taste like sweet corn.)