There are certainly worse ways to get between London and Columbus, Ohio.
The brewing industry’s kings of publicity stunts have done it again. Scottish brewer BrewDog—whose attempts to garner press have ranged from the inspired (bathroom beer fridges!) to the insipid (dropping stuffed cats on Wall Street?)—has once again unveiled a headline-worthy plan: “the world’s first craft beer airline.” Though as is often the case, the devil is in the details.
Scheduled to take flight next year, BrewDog Airlines sounds like a fun way to get around—despite the fact that it uses the term “airline” quite liberally. The operation will consist of a single roundtrip flight from London to Columbus, Ohio, departing on February 21 and returning on February 25. Though the brewery states that the trip will take place on a “bespoke BrewDog Boeing 767” whether this plane will be used beyond this inaugural flight isn’t mentioned.
Instead, the trip is far more akin to booking a group vacation package: Included in the price (about $1,600 for a single or $2,880 for a couple) are four nights of accommodations at a hotel in downtown Columbus, as well as excursions like a visit to BrewDog’s new Columbus brewery; a tour of the city’s bars, restaurants and other brewers; and an additional outing to some breweries in Cincinnati. Interestingly enough, though BrewDog recently opened a boutique hotel at their Ohio facility, guests have to pay extra to stay there, and are only being offered one night on that property.
That said, much of the selling point of the trip is the flight itself. BrewDog promises “the highest ever beer tasting onboard with a brand new beer designed to taste better at altitude,” along with “BrewDog-inspired dining on board, all paired with BrewDog beer and served by Cicerone-trained cabin staff,” as well as plenty of BrewDog beer and canned cocktails courtesy of the brewery’s spirits arm, LoneWolf.
One final catch: The packages are only being offered to Equity Punks—the name the brewer gives for people who have invested in its crowdfunded, capital-raising scheme. Buying into the brewery already comes with plenty of exclusive perks, so “Punks” can now add the chance to spend over a thousand British pounds to fly on a BrewDog-branded plane to that list.
Overall, as we’ve seen with previous BrewDog announcements, “BrewDog Airlines” comes with a bit more bluster than is befitting the actual concept. But that’s not to say it’s not an impressive proposition. And if you can’t enjoy yourself on beer plane, what do you even consider fun?