Passengers aboard some of the biggest airlines can now enjoy a nice cold bottle of beer. At high altitudes when one loses some sense of taste and smell, these airlines claim they're serving even better beers than most of the bars on land.
Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) became the pioneer of this kind when they started serving craft beer as part of in-flight menus in 2007. The largest Scandinavian airline raised the notch to a higher level when it partnered with Danish brewery Mikkeller in developing made-for-flight craft beers in 2014. Peter Lawrence, the carrier's head chef and meal planning manager, proudly told CNN that the range of their in-flight beers "puts most bars to shame."
SAS' collaboration with the Danish brewery has so far produced 11 Mikkeller in-flight beers. The lineup includes the Pale Ale; Past, Present & Future (the latest); and the original SAS x Mikkeller. Mikkeller founder Borg Bjergsø admitted it took them awhile before they fully grasped how the high altitude affected the taste of beer and had to do a series of adjustments before they finally got it right.
Hong Kong's flag carrier Cathay Pacific teamed up with Hong Kong Brew Co. and introduced Betsy Beer, a light ale that's made of unfiltered wheat and a result of a panel taste-test. The brewery's director Devin Kimble explained that about 10 percent carbonation, as well as the ingredients of honey, longan fruit and English Fuggle hops combined with the beer base of unfiltered wheat, yielded just the right taste for an in-flight beer.
Netherland's flag carrier KLM Royal Dutch Airline also offered their first in-flight draught beer last year. KLM naturally collaborated with the Dutch brewing company Heineken to develop the BrewLock technology. The technology made it possible so they can now serve pints of chilled beer drawn straight from the tap of a beer trolley, injecting some pub-style into select business class cabins.