Life On Mars
At Two Coast Brewing we care deeply about our planet. After all, as far as we know, it's the only one with beer on it. (Unless the real Most Interesting Man on Earth has found some peaceful corner of the galaxy to clone some of the bottles of Dos Equis he took on his one-way trip to infinity and beyond).
Here on Earth meanwhile a group of astrobiological students at Villanova University is doing really really important work to prepare for mankind's next steps into the solar system. So step aside Elon and NASA, this is important: Among some other minor stuff they found that Martian soil and hops are a match made in, ahem, heaven.
They used an approximation of Martian dirt - crushed basalt from an expired volcano in the Mojave desert - simulated weaker rays from a more remote sun, acidified the soil a bit and hypothesized about ways to loosen the dense ground (vermiculite they used would not be available on Mars). Alongside mesclun salad, basil and mint the hops flourished (somewhat surprising, considering what a fickle plant it is). The students' next challenge: Mars barley. Seriously! With frozen water present, hops and barley, all that's missing is some good space fermentation and humanity can breathe a little easier.