There’s a real problem with airline food. No, not just that the meals themselves can be lackluster. It's that our palates get a little out of whack when the cabin pressure sets in and we reach our cruising altitude. In short, it’s the crappy airplane coffee conundrum, which applies to everything on the menu. But if you’re flying Cathay Pacific, your beer could be the best thing you’ve ever tasted at 35,000 feet.
The Hong Kong-based airline, partnering with Hong Kong Brewing Co., has developed Betsy Beer, a brew named for the company’s first airplane and designed with mile-high drinking in mind. “We know that when you fly, your sense of taste changes. Airlines address this for food in certain ways. But nobody has ever tried to improve the taste of beer at altitude. That seemed like a great opportunity for us to help our beer-loving passengers travel well,” says Julian Lynden, the airline’s General Manager of Marketing and Loyalty.
As far as the process, the press release only states that the beer was developed with “a combination of science and traditional brewing methods.” The beer is a combination of Hong Kong and United Kingdom-sourced ingredients, featuring New Territories honey, Chinese longan fruit, and the aromatic British hop, Fuggle. The fruity, floral and sweet notes would seem to be this beer’s way of combating the near 30% loss of taste sense we experience while in flight.