Budweiser Will Experiment with Space Beer Starting in December

But first things first; will the barley grow?

By Ethan L. Johns
November 28, 2017

Image: Budweiser

After Thanksgiving dinner was rocketed up to the astronauts aboard the International Space Station in November, preparations for another shipment began. Its objectives? Brewing space beer.

Ok, so we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here. In order to brew space beer, you need to have space agriculture. So after Budweiser announced at SXSW back in March that it wanted to be the first beer on Mars, its Belgian parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev is following through by sending barley seeds up to the ISS, where they will be used to experiment with seed germination in microgravity.

Barley is the essential grain ingredient used in beer making. Two experiments involving the plant will take place aboard the ISS. In the first, the seeds will be exposed to the microgravity environment to see whether or not the storage conditions are adequate. The second experiment will test the growth rates of barley plants. ABI Voyager barley grows 6 to 10 inches on Earth after two weeks. Astronauts will compare with this baseline to see if space barley grows any faster or slower.

Twenty barley seeds will be packed into a SpaceX cargo rocket that launches on December 4th. The seeds will spend 30 days in space before being returned to Earth for analysis.

Get ready for Red Planet beer, because it may be coming if the interplanetary conditions are right. Of course, we still have to get ourselves there first. At least after AB InBev’s barley experiment we’ll be one step closer to knowing whether or not it’s possible.

You’ve got to hand it to them, though; it’s a clever scheme. If there was beer on Mars, we’d be more likely to sign up for a trip.

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns