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L410Turbolet
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Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:57 am

Anyone noticed how often Heineken is the beer of choice served/sold by airlines? Out of top of my head I can think of Delta, Air France, KLM, Wizzair, easyJet, even TAM....and probably many others. For some reason they all choose to serve this mediocre at best beer, despite often having a much better domestic brand available.
What is the trick behind this (unwarranted) success of Heineken?
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:17 am

Heineken is a nasty, bitter tasting beer, in my opinion. Give me a Yuengling!!  
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RNOcommctr
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:58 am

Heineken is very skunky. Would rather see something from Sam Adams or New Belgium.
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USAIRWAYS321
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:10 am

I've also wondered why it's so prevalent. In the US, I know that it's offered on at least the following airlines: American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United, and Virgin America.

Alaska, Frontier and US Airways are the only ones that come to mind that I know do not carry it. Anyone have an idea?
 
blink182
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:15 pm

I don't work in the airline or beverage industries, but my best guess is that Heineken's distribution is so widespread that all stations in countries that permit alcohol consumption will carry it for a relatively modest charge, and thus no stocking problems or higher prices that a product with limited distribution might have. Additionally, Heineken is an international brand that nearly everyone seems to know and is thus considered a safe choice for airlines to stock. My   .
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roseflyer
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:32 pm

It's inexpensive and widely distributed in cans unlike most beer. Cans is a major reason.
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L410Turbolet
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:13 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 5):
widely distributed in cans unlike most beer. Cans is a major reason.

As is vast majority of beer nowadays. It seems like the catering managers are just lazy, uninventive and cutting costs where they should not.
Imho, it adds a nice "regional" touch flying an airline that serves something special, local. I remember flying Varig for the first time to Brazil and how cool I thought it was that they served Antarctica and Guarana. Where has the fun of travel gone when everywhere you go you are served Heineken...a crappy, dull, globalized eurobeer.
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 1:33 am

Quoting blink182 (Reply 4):
Heineken's distribution is so widespread that all stations in countries that permit alcohol consumption will carry it for a relatively modest charge, and thus no stocking problems or higher prices that a product with limited distribution might have. Additionally, Heineken is an international brand that nearly everyone seems to know and is thus considered a safe choice for airlines to stock

That sounds like a good guess, the globalised brand means that it is available practically everywhere and everyone knows it.

Quoting RNOcommctr (Reply 2):
Would rather see something from Sam Adams

Now that would be nice. I've recently found somewhere that sells Sam Adams over here and practically screamed with delight when I first saw it on sale!

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 6):
Imho, it adds a nice "regional" touch flying an airline that serves something special, local

I know this is a discussion about beer, but other than Champagne in the premium cabins QF only serve Australian wine. NZ is the same with NZ wine. I think it is a nice touch since it showcases a part of Australia (or NZ) to the world.
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readytotaxi
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:05 pm

I would love to see some English regional beers on a flight out of the UK.
Sure, cans reduce the weight v bottles, but you can get some cracking beer in a can now.
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Luxair747SP
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:21 pm

Just bought Old Speckled Hen some weeks ago on a germany Beer Festival....quite special, but it was enjoyable  
 
trident3
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:39 pm

Fullers used to do cans of London Pride exclusively for British Airways. It was the only canned beer they produced.
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Skydrol
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:36 am

Heinenken isn't offered on El Al. They do have Carlsberg and Goldstar, and Goldstar is good stuff, but can't find it here... maybe marketed in Israel only.  



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cgnnrw
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Sat Mar 31, 2012 1:48 pm

I've wondered about this for year as well. Its not that great a beer, there are better Dutch beers. I remember being served the French beer 1664(?) on several AF flights and really liked it. Then last year I flew AF in biz and the only beer they offered was Heineken!!!

As someone already posted Heineken's distributing dept has done a great job of getting ther beer into the intl. market. When I still lived in the States many people equated "foreign" beer to 1) heineken 2) fosters and 2) corona.
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coachclass
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:31 pm

I think it would be FANTASTIC if Virgin America, headquartered out of San Francisco, offered Anchor Steam, SF's own. However, it's not in cans as far as I know, and I think it has to be refrigerated during storage, big disabilities.
 
blink182
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Sat Mar 31, 2012 5:56 pm

Quoting Skydrol (Reply 11):
Goldstar is good stuff, but can't find it here... maybe marketed in Israel only.  

I know at one point CO offered it on EWR-TLV. They still might.
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BE77
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:46 pm

I always assumed that it was because they don't need to carry as much of it, nor worry about rowdy passengers as much, since no one I know who likes real beer is going to have more than one of those horrid wastes of barley, hops, and yeast.
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deltaguy767
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:29 pm

Recently flew LAN from JFK-EZE via SCL and had Cristal. Nothing spectacular but it was a nice touch to have something from the home country of the carrier. Also in the fall while I was working in Europe, I flew CSA from CDG-PRG and they offered a local Czech beer, I think it was Gambrinus but not sure. A bit of a beer snob myself, it is a shame that the best folks can do these days is Heineken but I suppose anything is better than Bud Light   .
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SASMD82
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Sun Apr 01, 2012 1:38 pm

Heineken - along with Amstel - is perceived to be the least tasty Dutch beer there is. When someone of you visit the Netherlands, Grolsch, Brand and Hertog Jan are the preferred brands followed by Alfa, Bavaria and Dommelsch.

Anyway, beside their MD-80s, I prefer to fly with SAS because of the Tuborg on their flights (at least to and from Denmark)!  
 
srbmod
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Sun Apr 01, 2012 3:02 pm

Quoting CoachClass (Reply 13):

I think it would be FANTASTIC if Virgin America, headquartered out of San Francisco, offered Anchor Steam, SF's own. However, it's not in cans as far as I know, and I think it has to be refrigerated during storage, big disabilities.

VX has at times, been offering canned selections from 21st Amendment, which is also from the San Francisco area.

As more and more US craft brewers are putting their offerings in cans, the ones that have wider US distribution could see their products served onboard US airlines. One thing to remember is that the beers that airlines choose to offer on their flights have to be available nationwide, and the number of canned craft brews available nationally is pretty small but is growing. Airlines like VX and F9 can offer 21st Amendment and New Belgium because their hubs are in markets where those breweries are located and an a/c will be flying from the hub to a spoke and back, unlike the scheduling at some airlines like DL in which an a/c may operate ATL-SLC-LAS-ATL or ATL-LAS-SLC-LAX-ATL. The only import brands I can think of that offer their beers in cans and have wide distribution are Heineken, Amstel Light, Corona, Tecate and Dos Equis. You do have the canned beers with the widgets that help simulate a draft beer, but I don't think all of them have wide distribution other than maybe Guinness and Boddington's. Delta used to also offer Amstel Light on their flights until last year, as I would often get it over Heineken because it is a better tasting beer. With Stella Artois now offering their beer in a can, maybe someone will drop Heineken for them.

I could see Sierra Nevada and New Belgium cans popping up on more and more US airlines once both breweries built their East Coast breweries and can expand their distribution even further for their full product portfolio as well increase the inventory available in current markets (Sierra Nevada has already announced their brewery to be built in Asheville, NC and New Belgium is likely to also build one in the same area as well.). You're also going to see more and more breweries start adding canned versions of their more popular offerings as the stigma of canned beers is being eroded away by such breweries as Oskar Blues (who is also about to make the leap into canning spirits) only selling their beers in cans and by larger craft breweries like New Belgium and Sierra Nevada expanding their canned offerings or jumping into the canned market. Even Sam Adams is contemplating a canning line, so that's saying something when they're even thinking about it. If they do start canning Sam Adams, you would be highly likely to see an airline add that to their offerings.

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 1):
Give me a Yuengling!!

That's a case in which they would need to acquire brewing capacity in the Midwest and the Western US, as the two breweries they currently operate have trouble keeping up with the demand they have. If they had additional brewing capacity to allow them national distribution, you would be likely to see them on an airline. Yuengling is available in a can, which would be a plus for airlines.
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:18 am

Quoting srbmod (Reply 18):
he only import brands I can think of that offer their beers in cans and have wide distribution are Heineken, Amstel Light, Corona, Tecate and Dos Equis

Foster comes in a can, but I've only ever seen Corona in glass.

Quoting cgnnrw (Reply 12):
When I still lived in the States many people equated "foreign" beer to 1) heineken 2) fosters and 2) corona.

That thinking seems to apply in a lot of countries, maybe with Stella Artois also on the list. Re Fosters, you can't buy it in Australia. We give you lot the crap and keep the decent stuff  
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airportugal310
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:56 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 19):
Re Fosters, you can't buy it in Australia. We give you lot the crap and keep the decent stuff

I've heard that as well, regarding Fosters not being available widely around Australia

As for Corona, I won't even bother unleashing my tirade on that here. All I can remember from a trip to Cancun once was that it was way more expensive than what I would pay for it in the US. $10usd for a sixer if I remember correctly (2006?)...ya no thanks
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PITingres
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:10 pm

Quoting srbmod (Reply 18):
One thing to remember is that the beers that airlines choose to offer on their flights have to be available nationwide ...

Why? So that they can print the names in the magazine or something? Seriously, I don't see why an airline can't offer different beers according to the flight origin. A bit of marketing could turn it into a real differentiator.
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USAIRWAYS321
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Mon Apr 02, 2012 6:54 pm

Quoting PITingres (Reply 21):
Why? So that they can print the names in the magazine or something? Seriously, I don't see why an airline can't offer different beers according to the flight origin. A bit of marketing could turn it into a real differentiator.

Alaska does this to an extent - they serve Alaskan Amber on mainline flights, and rotating Northwest wines and microbrews on Horizon-operated flights. It's one of my favorite things about flying AS/QX.
 
srbmod
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Mon Apr 02, 2012 8:32 pm

Quoting PITingres (Reply 21):
Why? So that they can print the names in the magazine or something? Seriously, I don't see why an airline can't offer different beers according to the flight origin. A bit of marketing could turn it into a real differentiator.

It's the complexities of the alcohol laws that vary from state to state, as what's allowed in one state may not be so in another state. If a beer is not legal to distribute in a state (A brewery when starting to distribute in a new state have to get approved and even things like their labels are even up for scrutiny.), an airline (or their catering provider) cannot legally maintain a supply of a beer that is not authorized for distribution in that state. If they did maintain such a stock, it would be considered bootlegging and could put the airline or the catering contractor at risk of losing their liquor license (airlines and catering companies actually are required to get state and local liquor licenses for every station they serve in order to be able to serve drinks onboard when on the ground.).

Quoting USAIRWAYS321 (Reply 22):
Alaska does this to an extent - they serve Alaskan Amber on mainline flights, and rotating Northwest wines and microbrews on Horizon-operated flights. It's one of my favorite things about flying AS/QX.

That's doable because they are flying from their hubs to spokes and back to the hubs (which are in areas in which Alaska Amber is distributed), but other airlines don't always schedule their a/c to flight from one hub to an outstation and back to that same hub. Case in point, WN. Even an airline like DL doesn't always schedule services in that manner either, as I have flown on an LAS-ATL flight in which the a/c for that flight came in from SLC and not ATL.
 
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airportugal310
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Tue Apr 03, 2012 2:45 am

Quoting srbmod (Reply 23):
It's the complexities of the alcohol laws that vary from state to state, as what's allowed in one state may not be so in another state. If a beer is not legal to distribute in a state (A brewery when starting to distribute in a new state have to get approved and even things like their labels are even up for scrutiny.), an airline (or their catering provider) cannot legally maintain a supply of a beer that is not authorized for distribution in that state. If they did maintain such a stock, it would be considered bootlegging and could put the airline or the catering contractor at risk of losing their liquor license (airlines and catering companies actually are required to get state and local liquor licenses for every station they serve in order to be able to serve drinks onboard when on the ground.).

aka beaurocracy...
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LOWS
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Tue Apr 03, 2012 7:03 am

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 24):
aka beaurocracy...

aka Beerocracy...

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airportugal310
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RE: Why Airlines Like Heineken So Much?

Tue Apr 03, 2012 3:20 pm

Quoting LOWS (Reply 25):
aka Beerocracy...

(I'm here all week, try the smoked salmon!)

  

no actually that was a good one!
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