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Chinese Airline Designs High Altitude Beer

Hong Kong-based airline Cathay Pacific launched Betsy Beer, the world’s first hand-crafted bottled beer specially brewed to be enjoyed at 35,000 feet. The beer is named after “Betsy,” Cathay Pacific’s first aircraft, a Douglas DC-3 which flew passengers in the 1940s and 1950s.

The high altitude beer mellows out bitter flavors, since bitter tastes are stronger in pressurized airplane cabins. They made the beer sweeter by adding Dragon Eye fruit.

From Cathay Pacific:


Known for its aromatic properties, the fruit adds to the round, rich, textural properties that make the beer distinctive. This flavour is enhanced further by the inclusion of a small component of New Territories’-sourced honey in the brewing process, giving the beer agreeable floral notes, while the use of Fuggle, a revered hop and a mainstay of traditional British craft ales, lends it a pleasingly earthy and full-bodied flavour.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Marketing, Loyalty Program and CRM Julian Lyden said, “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.”

Betsy Beer will be first served to First and Business Class passengers onboard flights between Hong Kong and Heathrow, Gatwick, and Manchester in the United Kingdom.

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