American brewing giant Budweiser recently discussed brewing on Mars at a conference in Texas, but there are more challenges than you might think – as Aussie brewers already figured out.
The South By Southwest Conference took place in Austin, Texas, and the guest panel featured former astronaut Clayton Anderson, Budweiser VP Richardo Marques, and Anheuser-Busch’s Vice President of Innovation, Valerie Toothman.
The group discussed the possibility of taking the popular American beer into space, but also the challenges of brewing it on Mars.
Clayton is a decorated astronaut that has done extensive time on the International Space Station, and spoke of the challenges of carbonation in zero-gravity.
But further discussion went to actually brewing the beer on the red planet, with this apparently being entertained as a real option according to The Inquisitor.
Before Budweiser earns the right to claim a (known) universal first in brewing beer, there are some stupendous challenges that would have to be overcome.
Carbonation is affected by zero gravity and differences in atmospheric pressure, and Mars has an atmospheric pressure around 1% that of Earth. The CO₂ would remain trapped in the liquid, producing a creamy soup.
Although small amounts of water have been found on Mars, without a large supply found it would need to be transported there at exorbitant expense. Water would also be needed to grow hops, which also require a lot of sunlight. The sun appears on Mars around half the size it does on Earth, and provides far less energy. The hops would also have no chance of surviving the minus-80° C night temperatures.
Several years ago, iconic Manly brewer 4 Pines took on a challenge to produce one of its beers in a specially-designed can for American astronauts to consumer in space (see video below).
The result was the out-of-this-world Vostok 4-Pines Stout.
While many have suggested that space may in fact be the best place for Budweiser, it doesn’t look like happening anytime soon.