Here's What Happened on BrewDog Airlines' Inaugural Flight
BrewDog has become the king of craft beer marketing — even if many of its signature brews like Dead Pony Club and Punk IPA are, at least to my seasoned taste buds, not as good as they used to be. Still, you have to admire the scope of some of the stunts the brewery has pulled off. For instance, in October, BrewDog announced plans to launch the “world’s first craft beer airline” with a single chartered flight from London to Columbus, Ohio (where BrewDog has a brewery/hotel. They didn’t choose Ohio at random.) That flight took place a couple weeks ago, and BrewDog has released the video evidence to prove it.
In this 79-second clip, BrewDog cofounders James Watt and Martin Dickie are seen boarding a Boeing 767 loaded with over 200 of the brewery’s faithful. Plenty of beers are served, toasted, and drank. Smiling conversations are had. And Watt announces, “We’re about to do something that’s never, ever been done before in the history of humans, and we’re about to do the first-ever official beer tasting with over 200 people at altitude” as the group cracks BrewDog Flight Club, a beer specifically designed to be enjoyed in the sense-dampening conditions of air travel. Importantly, that “with over 200 people” is a huge part of this “first.” In 2017, Sam Adams held what it billed as a “first-ever” in-flight beer tasting aboard a JetBlue A321 which maxes out at 200 seats. (Cough.)
Regardless, an entire plane dedicated to drinking beer of any kind sounds like a fun adventure, and everyone involved does seem to be having a good time…
“We’d had enough of being served mediocre, lifeless beer on flights so we decided to show the rest of the world how it should be done,” Watt said in a statement after the flight was over. “You shouldn’t have to settle for substandard beer just because you’re 35,000 feet in the air.”
Admittedly, airplane beers are usually mediocre at best, though to be fair, they have been inching their way forward in recent years. For instance, American Airlines had been offering New Belgium’s Voodoo Ranger IPA, a beer I’d take over Punk IPA any day. And last year, I had a beer on Scandinavian Airlines that was so good I stole one off the plane: Mikkeller Northern Trails No. 2 Hazy IPA.
As to the future of BrewDog Airlines, the brand writes, “Plans are currently underway for future BrewDog Airlines flights as the brewery continues to push the boundaries of beer, and give craft beer drinkers new opportunities to broaden their horizons of beer in new ways.” However, I wouldn’t be surprised if they simply moved on to the marketing department’s next big idea.