You have better odds of sitting next to a farter or watching Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them than drinking a decent beer on your next flight. Beer pickings are pretty slim on most major airlines, so you’re stuck with standard fare like Budweiser when you’re 35,000 feet in the air. But a couple breweries are aiming to change that—and their specialty beers may be the best new travel perk since in-flight Wi-Fi.
Per CNN, three breweries have introduced beers meant solely for drinking on airplanes. Scandinavian Airlines has partnered with Danish brewer Mikkeller to offer a dozen in-flight brews including a barrel-aged lambic, Dutch airline KLM recently unveiled a straight-from-the-tap Heineken for business class travelers, and Hong Kong Brew Co. is brewing up batches of its “Betsy Beer” for premier cabins on Cathay Pacific’s flights from Hong Kong to the U.K.
Although you might think the airlines are just trying to kill your buzz by not serving quality craft beers, there’s actually a scientific reason you can’t sip ‘em in the sky. Cabin conditions like pressure and humidity cause a 15- to 30-percent drop in your sense of taste and smell, travel industry veteran Nik Loukas told CNN. So brewers had to come up with a new plan to make sure their suds don’t suck.
“[Betsy Beer] has about 10 percent carbonation,” Devin Kimble, director of Hong Kong Beer Co., told CNN. “That’s to push the aroma and counteract the numbing of the senses you get inflight. This makes the beer livelier on the tongue.” Kimble and co. also used fuggle hops—which have a distinct floral, woodsy scent—to enhance the smell.
Now let’s hope American brewers follow their lead and create some cabin-friendly concoctions of their own. Because God knows we need something to chase the taste of stale Biscoff cookies.
Check out this video about the beers below.