capitalflyer
Topic Author
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"Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:06 pm

"Beer here! Starting today you can enjoy an ice cold Fat Tire onboard our flights! In addition, (“orange” you glad for this news?), we now have delicious orange slices to go with your Blue Moon."

This announcement from Frontier is the first I am aware of microbrew beers being served on board commercial flights. Seems brilliant for at least 2 reasons:

1. Highlight connection to hometown (Denver in the case of Fat Tire)
2. Appeal to more affluent demographic that prefers microbrew beers

Are there other airlines that have or currently serve microbrews other regional fare?
 
ATCGOD
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:10 pm

Quoting capitalflyer (Thread starter):

This announcement from Frontier is the first I am aware of microbrew beers being served on board commercial flights.
QX has been doing it for free for years with Pacific Northwest microbrews. Here's the link: http://www.alaskaair.com/content/tra...fo/food-beverage/food-horizon.aspx

[Edited 2011-07-02 08:11:26]
 
EMBQA
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:21 pm

Quoting capitalflyer (Thread starter):
Are there other airlines that have or currently serve microbrews other regional fare?

Micro Brews almost always come in glass bottles.. which are very rare to be found on any commercial airlines.. less wine bottles.
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
HPRamper
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sat Jul 02, 2011 3:51 pm

A great idea for F9. It's quite popular on QX and helps instill that local connection.
 
RamblinMan
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:44 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 2):
Micro Brews almost always come in glass bottles

Oh but this is changing fast. The can is making a comeback...check out Oscar Blues in Colorado, also an outfit in Mich. UP whose name escapes me. Hopefully we see more of these on flights as they become more common.
 
hypercott
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 1:45 am

Northwest in their final years served a microbrew.... can't seem to remember its name, though...
 
ASFlyer
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 2:11 am

Alaska has been serving Alaskan Amber Ale for quite some time. As well, Alaska serves Kona Longboard Lager on Hawaii flights. Both come in Bottles, as well as the Corona they offer on Mexico flights.

To the poster that mentioned microbrews generally coming in bottles. Yes, this is true, but that's changing quickly. Blue Moon even comes in cans.
 
HPRamper
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:55 am

Too bad. Beer is better out of a glass bottle. Why would airlines prefer the cans...weight?
 
tropical77W
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:34 am

Porter Airlines has been serving Steam Whistle Beer for free for some time now.
http://www.canadianbeernews.com/2009...irlines-now-serving-steam-whistle/

Great brew and great airline.

[Edited 2011-07-02 22:35:13]

PD


[Edited 2011-07-02 22:35:40]
 
capitalflyer
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:36 am

That and weapon. Break off a bottle and voila, instant people shredder.
 
murchmo
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:35 am

Blue Moon is not a micro brew.

And any beer nerd will know that an orange or any fruit put into any kind of beer especially wheat beer fundamentaly ruins the beer.   I know most people prefer it, I just couldn't help myself  
to strive to seek to find and not to yield
 
murchmo
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:41 am

Quoting ATCGOD (Reply 1):
QX has been doing it for free for years with Pacific Northwest microbrews.

the best part about it was the one FREE wine or microbrew of the month!!
to strive to seek to find and not to yield
 
777fan
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 12:28 pm

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 2):
Micro Brews almost always come in glass bottles.. which are very rare to be found on any commercial airlines.. less wine bottles.
Quoting HPRamper (Reply 7):
Too bad. Beer is better out of a glass bottle. Why would airlines prefer the cans...weight?

This is simply not true. Beer is best consumed from a glass or cup of some sort. Pouring it out mixes the brew with air which brings out additional flavor and when applicable, will also ensure any sediment is properly dispersed.

Quoting murchmo (Reply 10):
Blue Moon is not a micro brew.

   It might as well be called "Coors Moon" but most of its drinkers overlook that fact.

Quoting RamblinMan (Reply 4):
Oh but this is changing fast. The can is making a comeback...check out Oscar Blues in Colorado, also an outfit in Mich. UP whose name escapes me. Hopefully we see more of these on flights as they become more common.

Oscar Blues' emergence has spurred an aluminum revolution within the industry as consumers are finding it's possible to put decent beers in cans. As mentioned above, the means of transporting beer (glass versus can) is somewhat irrelevant so long as the packaging protects it from light, is sealed for carbonation, and ensures moderate temperatures which is usually the responsibility of the transporter/distributor/vendor. Whatever the case, aluminum cans weigh less, block out all light and are thinner which allows them to chill faster. Recent tweaking with the production has eliminated any modicum of "canny" taste that the macro-swill brewers were associated with in the 70s and 80s. With fuel costs affecting virtually everything an airline does these days, the use of canned beer makes perfect sense since it's lighter and can be crushed down and eventually recycled which saves space.

As it pertains to air travel, I think the sale of regional brewers is a great idea (hello, UA, I'd love a Goose Island and it's your "hometown" brewer!) but unfortunately, it's still niche market within a niche market; there aren't many beer drinkers on a given flight and amongst those, I'm not sure how many would opt to try something they're unfamiliar with assuming it costs more than an already overpriced can of macro-crap. That said, I'd love to see some carriers tout the products of some of their hubs (Anchor Steam and Lagunitas for flights from SFO, Goose Island for ORD, Bell's for DTW, and so on) and it'd possibly make the mega carriers' hub connections a bit more "enjoyable" to the extent a beer can make it so.

777fan
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spacecadet
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 5:31 pm

Quoting 777fan (Reply 12):
Whatever the case, aluminum cans weigh less, block out all light and are thinner which allows them to chill faster.

It also allows them to warm faster, which is the problem with cans. There's nothing inherently wrong with a can if it's kept uniformly cold, but when being transported and shuttled from one truck to another truck, from a truck to a storage area, or from a truck to a plane, the cans warm up. And that changes the beer's taste.

Beer from a can is just horrendously inconsistent, whatever the brand.
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Brick
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:16 pm

Fat Tire is available in cans, so I wouldn't expect to see bottles on board.
A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
 
Loubert
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:40 pm

Does VX still serve 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer? They did as of December 2009.
 
sw733
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:50 pm

It's a good selling point, and it's no surprise that an airline from Denver, one of the best beer regions in the country, is doing this!

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 2):
Micro Brews almost always come in glass bottles..

As Brick mentions, Fat Tire definitely comes in a can. My local bar has $1.75 domestic cans on Fridays and they definitely sell a ton of Fat Tire and Blue Moon.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 12):
but most of its drinkers overlook that fact.

I think most casual beer drinks simply don't know.
 
777fan
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:28 am

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 13):
It also allows them to warm faster, which is the problem with cans. There's nothing inherently wrong with a can if it's kept uniformly cold, but when being transported and shuttled from one truck to another truck, from a truck to a storage area, or from a truck to a plane, the cans warm up. And that changes the beer's taste.

Beer from a can is just horrendously inconsistent, whatever the brand.

That responsibility would lie with the caterer and so long as the product is handled carefully, ala fresh food, it's not going to be an issue. The same handling issue theoretically arises with every beer handler/deliverer out there but to date, I have yet to note a temperature-related issue with a canned craft brew to date. The product doesn't need to be kept chilled 24/7, but only kept away from scorching heat (85+ degrees) which isn't too difficult since most food products are kept in temperature-controlled warehouses. Light is beer's biggest enemy; watch out for bottled beer in green bottles which serve as "skuninators".

I don't know what canned beer you drink, but would encourage you to give some of the aforementioned craft beers a chance. Oskar Blues Brewery rates an A- overall on Beer Advocate (the beer equivalent of a.net), while Fat Tire and other New Belgium brews are also pretty tasty.

777fan
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sunking737
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Mon Jul 04, 2011 11:53 am

As a caterer I would like to add, When I worked at SY, we ice down all beer tubs, when we added ice to the ice drawer of the liquor kits/carts. These liquor kits are kept in the flight coolers 12 to 24 hrs before we cater the planes so everything is cold. Dry ice added before departure from commissary. The F/A's also re ice down the beer tubs during the flight. Nothing beer than ice cold beer. So sit back relax and enjoy a cold one....Cheers.
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srbmod
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:21 pm

Quoting loubert (Reply 15):
Does VX still serve 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer? They did as of December 2009.

Their website currently doesn't show them offering it. Personally, I prefer their Live Free Or Die IPA. VX's site shows them offering Black Star Beer from Great Northern Brewing out of Montana.

Quoting hypercott (Reply 5):
Northwest in their final years served a microbrew.... can't seem to remember its name, though...

Perhaps it was Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat, which DL did offer for a time on their flights and only offer it in the SkyClubs these days. Much like with Blue Moon, it too is part of the MillerCoors joint venture.

Delta still offers Sam Adams on their Delta Shuttle flights.

One thing that I'm curious about is how is Frontier going to cater these flights in terms of the beers since New Belgium does not distribute in every market F9 flies to nor does New Belgium sell the canned version of Fat Tire (as well as Ranger IPA) all of the current New Belgium markets (I've yet to see Fat Tire or Ranger in cans here in Georgia, but we get them in bottles.). Are they going to keep an out and back inventory of those beers (setting aside X amount per run)?

One thing that probably stands in the way of more canned craft beers being offered on more airlines is the regional nature of those products. There's not really a canned craft beer that has true national distribution. You could argue for Leinenkugel and Blue Moon, but they're not craft breweries along the lines of New Belgium, 21st Amendment, Oskar Blues, Brooklyn Brewing, etc. Now if someone could talk Boston Beer into put Sam Adams in cans, then we might have something.
 
ba286
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:23 am

Quoting 777fan (Reply 12):
This is simply not true. Beer is best consumed from a glass or cup of some sort. Pouring it out mixes the brew with air which brings out additional flavor and when applicable, will also ensure any sediment is properly dispersed.

  

What if airlines were to serve beer out of kegs? This would reduce trash and be cheaper than paying for all those cans no?

Has any airline had beer on tap?
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sw733
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sat Jul 09, 2011 3:38 am

Quoting ba286 (Reply 20):
What if airlines were to serve beer out of kegs? This would reduce trash and be cheaper than paying for all those cans no?

The problem with this is that kegs go bad after you tap it, so the keg would need to be used sooner than later. If you happen to get a flight where not many people drink beer, you could end up wasting most of a keg.
 
ba286
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:17 am

Quoting sw733 (Reply 21):
If you happen to get a flight where not many people drink beer, you could end up wasting most of a keg.

If one were to hook up a CO2 system to the keg, yes I'm in college, then the beer would be good for an extended period of time. It would also be a proper beer, as beer is meant to be poured into a cup (preferably a glass as stated by others).

I understand, though, that such a concept would merely be unnecessary.
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srbmod
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RE: "Beverage Service": Microbrews In The Air?

Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:42 pm

If I remember correctly, wasn't JAL not too long ago offering draft beer on their domestic flights?

If airlines were to offer draft microbrews, they would have to most likely be of the 5L "mini-keg" type, as even a torpedo keg (the smallest keg size used by breweries and is commonly used by microbreweries) may be a bit too heavy (A full torpedo keg is 5.23 gallons and weighs in at between 58-60 lbs.). Not too many microbreweries are doing the mini-keg (I know Bell's has them, and Widmer as well as Rogue have done them as well.), so that limits the offerings considerably. Some of the mini-kegs on the market have a CO2 cartridge built into the keg, and others require a dispensing system like the one for the Heineken mini-kegs. I remember years ago buying a mini-keg of Becks and having to pump pressure into it from time to time.

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