You're squashed into your seat, a child kicking the back of you chair and
your ears are acting up - you need a beer! Yes, there will be beers but as
the trolley bashes your elbows, those commercialised beers are just not
what your tastebuds are craving. Why can't you be at your local enjoying
your favourite IPA or maybe a wheat beer? Cry no more beer lovers! American
airlines are paving the way for craft beers to become a common commodity on
board- soothing the soul of the beer snobs around the States! The rest of
us may lay in hope that our hoppy and malty loves can join us on Australian
According to the Brewers Association, craft beer sales have seen 6% rise in
sales per annum, with mass marketed brews steadily declining. It makes
sense - why bother with a cheap brand brew slapped together when you can
have a great tasting craft beer!
Airlines in America have clearly noted this rise in sales and are grabbing
at the not-so-niche market to ensure higher sales in the air. Generally
beer is the weaker contestant for inflight beverage sales, with wine and
spirits being the preferred drink. Aboard six North American flights it was
found that liqour sales reached $38 million and wine sales neared $14
million, while beer topped almost $11.4 million on inflight sales,
according to GuestLogix, a credit card transaction processor for North
American Airlines. However, the introduction of more craft beers is
expected to change this.
With the good comes the bad, and there is some bad with the mile high sale
of our favourites. Just like the food, craft beers will also suffer at the
hands of altidude. Passengers' tastebuds can become less aware of aromatics
of the beers, with the bitterness getting the upper hand and reducing the
taste of a great brew. Expert brewers are suggesting a well balanced malty
and hoppy beer will work best for air sales.
With the expectation that most airlines in the US will be serving craft
beers by the end of the year, it can be assumed that other international
airlines will follow suit. Here's to hoping we can all crack a bottle of
our favourite craft beer the next time we jet off around the world!