Bottoms Up, WAY UP: This Beer Was Made Specifically for High Altitude Airline Drinking

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There’s nothing wrong with those free Steamwhistles on Porter flights. It’s a great Canadian Pilsner, if that’s your thing. But they can’t hold a candle to the science behind “Betsy Beer,” now available aboard Cathay Pacific, because it is brewed exclusively for high altitude drinking.

It might sound silly to you, but how your body experiences the world changes as you head up a mountain or into the clouds, and it’s a scientific fact that things taste differently at high altitudes. This includes your favourite beer, which you’ve maybe noticed tastes more bitter in a pressurized cabin. And a good beer is all about balance.

One beer fan wasn’t having it. The drink cart marks a crucial moment on your long and boring flight: awaiting it, placing your order, and having something to sip on with your crossword or book is a small joy to get you through the stretch of point A to B, and Cathay Pacific felt that that small joy should be everything it could be. So they invented “the world’s first handcrafted bottled beer brewed to be enjoyed at 35,000 Ft.”

How’s that for living up to their slogan, Life Well Traveled.

Cathay Pacific is a Hong Kong based airline, and they partnered with Hong Kong Beer Co to make the ale, which is created with a combination of Hong Kong and UK-sourced ingredients and processes that ensure proper taste, aroma, and carbonation for your sensory experience way up in the clouds.

One of those ingredients is Dragon Eye fruit. It’s known for its aromatic properties, and adds to “the round, rich, textural properties that make the beer distinctive.” A little bit of “New Territories’-sourced honey” in the  brewing process gives the beer its floral notes.

The use of Fuggle, a revered hop and a mainstay of traditional British craft ales, imparts an earthy and full-bodied flavour to Betsy Beer. “Betsy Beer” was named after “Betsy,” the airline’s very first aircraft, a Douglas DC-3.

The beer will be served on flights between Hong Kong and 3 destinations in the UK: Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester, until the end of April, as well as on the ground, at the airline’s lounges in Hong Kong and Heathrow.

About Author

Chad Pelley

Chad Pelley is an author, songwriter, and journalist who wrote for publications like the Globe & Mail and The Telegraph-Journal before founding The Overcast. Now he spends 25 hours a day keeping up with his email, and has no time to be his former self.

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