The First Beer in Space is…Natty Light?! Really?!!

Just when you think something amazing has been achieved, it turns out there’s a catch that totally ruins it.  In this case, two enterprising young fellas have sent a can of beer into space and back down again so they could have the privilege of drinking the world’s first “space beer,” and what do the choose for the occasion?  Natural Light.  Seriously?!  That’s like having Kim Kardashian being the first astronaut or if The Situation had discovered America.

Handwarmers, a GPS, some other stuff, and a can of crappy beer.

The spacecraft used was a stryrofoam cooler dubbed “The Aluminum Fullcan” (ugh) that was fitted with a weather balloon, a sophisticated GPS device and some handwarmers from keeping the cargo from freezing and bursting.  Here’s the details of the flight from the YouTube video page:

The spacecraft was launched on November 17, 2011 via weather balloon at approx 11:11am and landed back on earth at approx 1:45pm. The assent took about 2hrs rising to an altitude of 90,000ft+. The Aluminum Fullcan spacecraft landed 60 miles from the launch site and took Danny and Rich 2hrs to locate by gps (due to the rural area of the landing that offered poor reception). The event was a complete success and the following day November 18, 2011 Natty Light officially became The First Beer In Space (edge of space)…what we like to call the Nattmosphere!

Great, more junk in space!

I’ve posted a YouTube video below if you’re interested in watching a can of crappy beer go up into almost-space and come back down again.

If you haven’t seen through it yet, this is obviously a PR stunt paid for by Natural Light.  Looking at the slickness of the video, the way this stunt is integrated into Natural Light’s Facebook page and the use of the word “Nattmosphere” (double ugh), this is clearly something more than “two guys with a big idea.” The fact that they are trying to pass it off as such shows you that Natural Light thinks you’re a moron.

I guess it makes sense that an inferior beer was the first into space.  After all, when America shot its first primate skyward, he wasn’t a heroic astronaut, he was a scared chimp, a pale imitation of the great men who would follow.  So if Natural Light is Ham the Chimp, that means Dale’s Pale Ale is Buzz Aldrin and Monk’s Blood is John Glenn.  Sounds about right to me – let the space race begin!

What goes up must come down (unfortunately).

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Categories: Beer, Lifestyle, News

Author:Jim Galligan

Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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64 Comments on “The First Beer in Space is…Natty Light?! Really?!!”

  1. November 29, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    The guy in the picture looks like the owner of Rock Art Brewery.

    • November 29, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

      Yes, but Matt would have sent Monster Energy Drink’s balls into space after he got tired of looking at them on his mantle…

  2. November 29, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    Look at the bright side. Launching Nat. Light into space couldn’t possibly make it any WORSE.

    • November 29, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

      Yes, but what if the solar radiation imbued it with super powers?! Then we’d ALL be screwed!

  3. November 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm #

    Natty is certainly the beer equivalent of a space monkey. The Russians are probably planning to send up some Baltika next. I’m thinking a can of Dale’s will be the first beer to completely orbit the earth, followed by a ticker-tape parade in New York.

    Funny, I just saw The Right Stuff for the first time in ages the other week. What would be the beer equivalent of Chuck Yeager?

    • November 29, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

      Given that it goes through my system at the speed of sound, I’ll volunteer Stag as the Chuck Yeager of beers.

      • November 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm #

        Good choice!

    • November 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

      I’d guess a lot of different things given how many pilots get caught drinking on the job, but my bet for the first would be a nip of Johnny Walker off the beverage cart

    • November 29, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

      I’d say Yeungling is the Yeager – It’s been around for a long time, doesn’t get much respect from beer nerds, and doesn’t get the attention that its contemporaries enjoy.

      • November 29, 2011 at 1:15 pm #

        I like your reasoning, but I don’t think Yuengling quite fits the bill. For all the history behind it, Yuengling just doesn’t make a very good beer IMO. I’d say Anchor fits the description better. Fritz Maytag was the ultimate craft beer test pilot.

        • November 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

          Ha ha – I almost went with Anchor but figured they were still too relevant to craft beer drinkers! Good call.

  4. November 29, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

    Maybe they can find a way to launch all the Natty Light into space. In fact, why not shoot every industrial rice adjunct lager with it.

    Fellas, I think we just figured out a way to save NASA.

    • November 29, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

      Maybe they can just build a rail gun at the end of the bottling line and fire the suckers off into space as they come down the conveyer…

      • November 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

        I think you’re on to something. Imagine the taste buds and beer bellies we’ll save…

  5. November 29, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Speaking of Dale’s Pale Ale…I heard Oskar Blues is coming soon to KY…

    • November 29, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

      I also heard they’re gonna pull out right after that… ;)

    • Don
      November 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

      Yeah, tell me alllllllll about it… :(

  6. November 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Wow, are they allowed to do that? I mean, there’s a lot of space junk already whirling around the planet at, like, 20,000 mph. The last thing you’d want if you were on a heroic space mission would be to get beaned by a can of cheap swill.

    • November 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

      They mumbled something about FAA clearance in the video, which is another indication that this was a corporate stunt. What regular dudes are going to think that far ahead?

  7. November 29, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

    Look at the potential bright side: It’s a start. Now all we need to do is figure out how to send all of it out there and keep it there…..

    @TheAlemonger

  8. Geez
    November 29, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    Any facts to support your assumption that this is a publicity stunt? Im a fan of natty’s facebook page and they have a long track record of letting fans produce content. From choosing the profile pic, naming new products (Fatty Natty named by fans), picking new product designs, the “aluminum fullcan” named by fans and on and on…The video is also posted on many sites like ebaums, dailymotion, videobash etc. if it was just about the brand why wouldn’t they host thru BrightCove and own all the views?? this is the complete opposite of what brands pushing content typically do when wanting to create a viral video thats measurable.

    I think its cool that Natty lets there fans run the show and don’t just spit out the typical commercial garbage of most brands. Danny and Rich are clearly active fans and you can even see there long history of posting on Nattys facebook page, comment and talk to them. Go to the page now and you’ll see danny commented on a recent post as he’s done well before creating a video. Obviously your not a Natty fan but do your homework before you slap together an article next time.

    • November 29, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

      I’ve spent years in brand marketing, promotions, public relations and “viral” content creation, and what I see here is a very well-crafted, brand-funded publicity stunt by “fans.” It’s like “WalMarting Across America” done right: http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/oct2006/db20061009_579137.htm

      Look at the video, the fact that they put an empty can with a cam on it to get the glorious views of the journey, the large natural light logo on the cooler, the use of the word “Nattrosphere” in the titles (clearly the work of a hack copywriter), the use sophisticated GPS equipment, the fact that they even got FAA clearance before sending the balloon aloft all adds up to a well-funded and careful endeavor. That’s not how two dudes screwing around would roll, no matter how many “authentic” posts they put up on the Natty Light Facebook page.

      The fact that the video is posted all over the internet and not on a specific site (BrightCove) is viral marketing 101, dude. Get it out to as many outlets as possible and hope that one takes off.

      The only mistake I made was giving them any attention here, but I figured it was a fun story, so I decided to “slap” it together despite the fact that it’s just what Natural Light paid their marketing agency to make happen in the first place.

      The world is full of scheming, manipulative asshats, Geez, and this has their fingerprints all over it. Wake up ad smell the garbage.

      • November 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

        Also, just watched the “before” video on Natty Light’s heavily branded YouTube page (the same one that hosts the flight video) and the thing is perfectly lit, the camera work is first rate and the dude who is talking is way too polished. It’s better than “real” for sure.

    • November 29, 2011 at 2:39 pm #

      Also, how come the world’s greatest Facebook fans Danny and Rich haven’t responded to one of the posts about their stunts? If they were real dudes, they’d be in there soaking up the glory. Also-also, how did Natty Light get their hands on the can that those dudes sent into space, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, how come Danny and Rich didn’t drink the beer themselves? You go through all that trouble to send a beer into “space” (90,000 feet isn’t really space, BTW) and then you don’t drink it?!!! You send it to the company that made it so they could ask their Facebook fans what to do with it? Bullshit!

      I guess Natty Light was right when they assumed their customers are morons!

    • November 29, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

      Aaaaand while I’m at it, I see that your IP address puts you smack in the middle of Natural Light corporate territory, Geez. You’re in St. Louis, huh? Just a coincidence I suppose…

      • Wayne
        November 29, 2011 at 2:50 pm #

        Now, now Jim, SL is the home of Schlafly’s after all.

        • November 29, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

          Oh, there’s good stuff in STL for sure, but I don’t think this guy is part of that world…

        • November 29, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

          This smackdown was hilarious.

        • November 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

          Thanks, John. It got me pretty fired up that someone could pretend that this was anything else than a paid PR piece.

      • November 29, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

        Ha! Nicely done, Jim. The comment by “Geez” is so obviously engineered by a marketing intern. I even suspect that there is a corporate social media style book that mandates poor spelling when commenting on other blogs. Note how the grammar and sentence structure is clear and to the point, but the spelling has been dumbed down to match the average internet commenter. Hilarious.

        • November 29, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

          I was thinking the intern thing as well, either as instructed by his/her boss, or going wildcat to stick up for the Internet stunt they’re so proud to be a part of.

        • November 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

          I think the intern wrote the copy for the YouTube copy as well, hence “The assent took about 2hrs…” as in it took them 2 hours to approve, while I believe the word they were looking for is ASCENT.

          Who knows about Geez, maybe he/she is a typical example of the macrobeer zombies out there who are drinking up the hype kool-aid. ;)

  9. Wayne
    November 29, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Dya think they figgered that since it was a “lite” beer it’d have a smaller payload?

    • November 29, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

      Maybe – Ten Fidy don’t float!

  10. Geez
    November 29, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    The camera work is first rate?? haha its clear you’ve spent a lot of time in brand marketing. making them suck apparently. I’m no intern Jim, I’m 36yrs old grown man that drinks beer to get a buzz not sissy craft beers like the wankers on this site. Danny and Rich have posted thank you messages and such on multiple facebook post and appeared on the radio here in St. Louis. Nattmosphere is clearly a play on the nattyisms campaign that ran several yrs ago and is still part of fan vernacular. Contact AB! relpy in comments they’ve made on facebook. PROVE your point, get an interview!!! Your simply offering opinion and assumptions and thats not good journalism dude. Look I dont know for sure this whole thing is real… but i do know good journalism begins with facts and research, none of which you did before writing this story and that was my point. Now you’ve done your homework in response and want cred?

    • November 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

      Excuse me, how can we be sissies when the beer we drink is 1) Usually 2-3% greater in ABV than what you drink, and 2) Is more full bodied and not watery tasting like Natty and the rest of its ilk. An analogy would be like some who can lift 1lb. calling somebody who can lift 5lb.s a sissy. Just doesn’t make sense.

      If you really just drink to get a buzz, I suggest you drink a few Double IPAs or Imperial Stouts, and then chill.

    • November 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

      First off, if you’re looking for journalism, you’re not looking in the right place. This is a blog, and we have the freedom to draw conclusions and share opinions without the burden of things like “facts” and “research.” ;)

      Besides, this is CLEARLY a marketing stunt put on by AB to pimp Natty Light, it’s damn near textbook, so no real research is needed – it’s goddamn transparent! So either you’re insulting my intelligence by thinking I’d draw any other conclusion or you’re insulting your own by suggesting that this is legit.

      And yes, at your prodding I looked into what I already knew (that this is a company-funded PR stunt) and found nothing to change my position and lots of evidence to support it. I saw no interaction by our two “fans” on the Natty Light Facebook page (maybe you could point me to one of your…i mean one of their posts) and couldn’t find a Facebook page for either dude. I bet if I could, they’d be thin on posts and actual dimensional content and big on warmed-over corporate kneeling and bobbing.

      Also, you express yourself like a marketing person, quoting the tenants of measurable viral videos, mentioning the “nattyism” campaign from years ago (ugh – like someone not on the payroll would even know what the hell that was), the “fan vernacular” (I’ve been in branding campaign meetings with people like you, and you kill creativity), you live in St. Louis and you seem to have a need to defend this campaign while doing a little trolling on the side. It’s pretty obvious you’re on the payroll, dude.

      And yes, I drew that conclusion without an interview.

      Douche.

  11. Geez
    November 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm #

    I wish I was on the AB payroll! Yes , I live near STL (nothing wrong with that other than its sad you cant respect the privacy of your posters.) I have a background in design but im no marketer. Im outa work right now. You could def use a new logo, lemme know if i can help ya out. Its fun getting you all worked up. Im just a fan of Natty dude. Been drinking it since i was 17 and it was $6.99 a case. I apologize to the wankers!

    I follow brands on facebook and I think what brands like Natty, RedBull and a handful of others are doing is cool and engaging content. I was obviously engaged by this story. Who doesn’t love controversy! And yes i have a basic understanding of whats important to brands. Measurable content is 101, cmon man. If your a Natty fan, you know nattyisms. Its been on the packaging, in TV commercials, the website. Everyone who’s bought natty in the last 3-4 yrs has heard of nattyisms.

    • November 29, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

      You are so full of crap, dude! You’re [Name Redacted], a Creative Director at [Company Redacted] Marketing in St. Louis (from your LinkedIn account):

      I’m currently working on design and marketing solutions for Dickies, AB Inbev, 5-hr Energy, Vitaminwater, Southwest Airlines, MLB, Elsevier, Muscle Milk and several other brands looking to move the needle. Responsibilities include management of brand standards, concept development, product and lifestyle photography direction, logo development, art direction, color separation and print management as well as presentation.

      You’re also a member of the Guerilla and Non-Conventional Marketing Group on LinkedIn. So you work for an In-Bev agency doing concept development, you’re into guerrilla and non-conventional marketing (this stunt fits that bill, no?) and you just HAPPEN to stumble through here defending this particular campaign. Sure, I’ll buy it! You’re just a “Natty Fan” kinda like Bill and Ted or whatever their names are (I’m guessing they’re a pair of your copywriters).

      I can’t believe someone with your credentials could be so arrogant and/or stupid to think you could waltz in here and spam the place with your half-truth bullshit.

      Anyway, how’s that for a little research?

      • November 29, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

        I took out the dude’s name and the agency where he works because I didn’t want to mess with his personal life. That’s why it says “name redacted” and “company redacted” above.

  12. November 29, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

    I’ll cop to being familiar with the “Nattyisms” campaign. I’ll also cop to thinking that it was a great campaign because they understood their market. What that market is, I’ll be nice and leave it unsaid.

    • November 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      I’m sure “Geez” will be happy to see you like his work.

      • November 29, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

        It’s basically a campaign that says “Ok, we know our market is drunk frat guys who don’t care at all what they’re drinking, so let’s go all-out aiming at them. To hell with everyone else”.

        It’s not unlike the Hardee’s campaign a few years ago where they decided to blatantly own and exploit the market for fat horny dudes who like greasy hamburgers.

        • November 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

          I think both are smart – know your audience and bond with them. I’m sure he does good work, but you have to be an idiot to pretend you’re someone you’re not and defend your obviously transparent campaign on a blog like this. We’re fully armed with bullshit detectors. My guess is he created a Google alert to tell him when something was posted about the Natty Light stunt and we popped up. He didn’t like that we were saying it wasn’t real and decided to call us out on it, which turned out to be a mistake.

  13. November 29, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    Transparent? This is a natrage! Completely unnatceptable!

    • November 29, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

      I get it – you put “nat” into everything. That’s nat…uuhhh…ronic.

      • November 29, 2011 at 5:21 pm #

        Yeah, I’m just being a dingleberry and a smartass. In the Great War of BWB vs. Nat Light, I’m sure you know which side I’ll fall on.

        • November 29, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

          I’m guessing Natty Light!

  14. November 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Did I miss anything while I was wanking?

    • November 29, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

      I had a Kelly Brook nude gallery up for a few minutes, but I guess you were too busy looking at a different Kelly Brook gallery somewhere else…

  15. Geez
    November 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    Nattastic research Jim! haha Keep practicing, maybe CBS will call one day…Its been fun, now back to guerilla marketing, drinking 5hr energy and separating colors. lemme know when you wanna update that logo from 1997. Geez.

    • November 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

      Cool. Sorry about calling you out and using your name – I could have proved my point without doing it. It was a dick move and not what this blog is all about, so I redacted it.

      The space gag is good viral marketing work BTW, I just got fired up because you obviously have a dog in the fight and are pretending to be someone you’re not. You’re lucky to have a client that will actually do a campaign like that – I’ve pitched a few and could tell the execs just weren’t getting it. Anyway, it’s been fun sparring with you.

      And that logo isn’t bad for a copywriter!!

    • Wayne
      November 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

      After reading all of the above, I have only one thing to say to anyone who drinks, makes, sells or advertises for “Lite” beer–of any kind. That is: It ain’t beer! For many years I eschewed American beer because it all tasted like slightly hopped soda water (or worse– after all, there’s a reason the troops called it ‘panther piss’.) The advent of “Lite” beers only exacerbated this unfortunate trend. But, for those of you who actually like the stuff, I say more power to ya. Drink away–no skin off my nose.

      But to Geez in particular, in his/her deceitful guise as an honest blogger, I say: Take your ‘Natty’ (BTW: that moniker was owned by National Bohemian in Baltimore, long before you guys co-opted it), and use it as an enema, which, IMO, is all that it and most other AB products (Goose Island excepted) are good for anyway.

      • November 29, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

        You just gave them a great idea for their next video – the Nattema!! Danny can see if Rich can hold a case!

        You need to copyright that quick, Wayne!

  16. Geez
    November 29, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Truce Jim…and hey if you can break the story and get the ball rolling, brands love controversy! I’ll keep following, good luck with the blog and I was kidding about the logo.

    • November 29, 2011 at 5:49 pm #

      Ha ha – let’s hug it out!

      And I think you’re mostly right about the logo – way to find the weak spot, dude! :)

      Anyway – it was fun. Drink some Schlafly beers!

    • November 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

      Awwww…*sniff*. What a perfect shitstorm, you guys, you touched all my emotions. And I ended up with a desperate craving to try Natty Lite, which I can’t get up here in Canada. I’d love to review this beer–it sounds like it would be right up my alley ;)

      • November 29, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

        Maybe one will fall from space and into your front yard, LSB…

      • Wayne
        November 30, 2011 at 10:15 am #

        You live in Canada and you like American lite beers? Don’t let the honchos up in Ottawa know about this, they might just decide to deport you to Detroit.

  17. November 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Let us all be glad that aliens did not pick this shitty package up while it was in an extremely low earth orbit. Can you imagine what would happen if ET’s first beer was a shitty-ass unnatural light? We would have suffered a combined wrath of every apocalyptic movie ever made that dealt with our destruction and then, they would have stolen all the good beer that was left after our deaths. The Big Beer guy refers to Craft Beer as being for sissy’s??? Really??? I understand you made peace with him but he had never even tried nat light and he wants to take a shit on us? Apparently he is less in tune with post prohibition beers that killed beer than he is with something that taste good and that you don’t need to drink a case of to feel satisfied. I bet he is a wine drinker who touts his perceived knowledge of alcohol as fact when it is actually a wasted education on absolute shit.

    Fuck off big beer asshat.

    with regards,

    Tim

    • November 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

      I think the aliens would taste the Natural Light, report back “there no sign of good beer down here” and go home. Natty is saving us from an alien invasion!

  18. November 30, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Well, that is very possible, too. I would hate for that chance to be taken.

    • November 30, 2011 at 4:06 pm #

      I guess you’re right – we’re playing with 7 billion lives!

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