In general, draft beer seems like a simpler way to deliver beer: No need for a bottles or cans or a packaging line, and by volume, kegs are more efficient to ship. But apparently, for air travel, that’s not the case. Outside of barrels being a bit unruly to roll down tight airplane aisles, the science of draft beer doesn’t entirely add up when you’re soaring above the clouds. That’s why Dutch airline KLM is excited about a project they’re about to bring to fruition with the help of Dutch beer brand Heineken: becoming the first commercial airline to offer draft beer in flight.
“Because the air pressure is so much lower in an airplane than at sea level, a traditional beer tap will not work as it will only dispense a huge amount of foam,” explained Edwin Griffioen, the man at Heineken who designed the special draft system, to Fox News. Using traditional methods is somewhat of a moot point anyway as CO2 cartridges are prohibited on airliners. “We do have dispensers that work on air pressure, but these were too big to fit in a plane. It was one big jigsaw puzzle, as the keg of beer, the cooling system and the air pressure compressor all had to fit in an airline catering trolley.”