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Wednesday, July 20th 2011

Craft Beer in Cans on Airplanes Equals Happier Passengers!

If there was ever a time when it just might be justified to drop $7 or $8 on a good beer it's when you're on a plane. You've put up with a lot just to get yourself planted into that tiny, cramped, little space and now there isn't a whole lot to do for the several hours that lay ahead. At the very least you could relax with a cold, craft beer and try to find some inner peace. Unfortunately, aside from a few that we'll be sure to mention below, domestic airlines in the US don't seem to feel it's all that necessary to provide you with that small bit of luxury.

With the sheer volume of good beer available in cans these days it really is a wonder why so few airlines make an effort to offer their customers better beer choices. Surely they must understand that not everyone is happy with the usual Bud, Miller, Coors options. Here are the select few that deserve some attention for making an effort to provide something decent to their passengers.

Frontier Airlines began offering their passengers New Belgium's Fat Tire this year for $6 a pop. Not bad considering it's only a buck more than the usual suspects. They also offer Blue Moon which I'd consider a good beer when it comes to typical plane offerings.



Hawaiian Airlines has been offering cans of Maui Brewing's Bikini Blonde Lager on their Trans-Pacific flights since 2007. This makes it the first domestic airline to offer canned craft beer in-flight. Mahalo!


Virgin America began offering 21st Amendment's Brew Free! or Die IPA on their flights after the brewery's co-founder, Shaun O'Sullivan, "was onboard a Virgin America flight tweeting about the unique in-flight experience and offered his ale as a potential menu item. As a result of his post and guest requests for a larger onboard beer selection with more micro-brew options, the carrier’s new menu includes both 21st Amendment Brewery’s Brew Free! or Die IPA and Gordon Biersch’s Märzen." It also includes Black Star Double-Hopped Golden Lager. I really, really wish other airlines in this country would listen to their passengers like Virgin America does. 

That's it. Well aside from Alaskan/Horizon which offer Alaskan Amber Ale and other craft brews in-flight - just none in cans. Can you believe that? Delta, Continental, US Airways, American Airlines and United all fail to offer any craft beers in-flight. Pretty pathetic if you ask us. Listen to your customers and do a little more to make their experience enjoyable! It's not like we're demanding free beer - although Horizon Airlines does provide complimentary beers on their flights which is pretty much unheard of in this country. Too bad they don't fly to more destinations.

We've decided that the major airlines must be too busy to figure out which craft beers they should offer so we took the guess work out of things for them by putting together some potential pairings based on where their major hubs are located. Enjoy.

American Airlines | Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas


Continental Airlines | Newark, New Jersey


Delta Airlines | Minneapolis, Minnesota


United Airlines | Chicago, Illinois


US Airways | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

If you've been on a flight that offered decent beer we'd love to hear about it! We've seen some other folks writing about this as well and think it's really time that we demanded more choice when it comes to beer on domestic flights. Cheers!


Posted by Russ

Labels: Opinions