As reported by CNN, some airlines are working hard to improve the inflight beer experience for craft enthusiasts. The movement began in 2014 when Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) joined forces with Danish brewer Mikkeller. Since 2014, SAS has featured a dozen specialty brews on flights across the world. In 2016, Dutch airline KLM teamed up with Heineken to serve draft beer inflight to business class patrons after new technology was developed to offset cabin pressure.
The most recent airline to join the space is Cathay Pacific, based in Hong Kong. Their collaboration with Hong Kong Brew Co. produced Betsy Beer, which is available in premier cabins for flights from Hong Kong to the UK. To get the taste just right on this wheat ale, Cathay Pacific enlisted local beer specialists, restaurateurs, frequent fliers, and cabin crew members to share their thoughts. With only 6-10% humidity at 35,000 feet, brewers had to ramp up the carbonation to around 10% to counteract the fact that you lose 15-30% of your sense of smell and taste inflight.
SAS has continued to expand their offerings inflight since 2014, and also offers passengers inflight beer tastings. SAS has debuted 11 Mikkeller beers so far, with 6 more to be released in the coming months. The thought is more airlines will begin to offer brews specifically designed for altitude instead of the usual suspects (domestic cans). Would craft beers make your inflight experience better? Tell us in the comments on Instagram @haveanight!
Cover image via Cathay Pacific