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Cathay Pacific Beer is Designed to Taste Better on a Plane

The craft wheat beer is named after Cathay Pacific’s first aircraft, Betsy
plane

Sorbis / Shutterstock

The companies dubbed the beer “the ultimate traveler’s beer.”

Air travel is a luxury that allows people to experience different cultures, including tasting new drinks and food. In hopes of giving people the opportunity to get that experience even before the plane lands, Hong Kong Beer Co. and Cathay Pacific Airways have partnered to create “Betsy Beer” — the world’s first hand-crafted bottled beer designed to taste better in the air, according to the company.

In the ad for the new product, Simon Pesch, brew master at Hong Kong Beer Co., says that environmental factors such as altitude and cabin pressure can dull our taste buds by up to 30 percent, making food and drinks taste different when travelling on an airplane.

“We’ve also kept this beer unfiltered so we can have layers of texture and complexity to the final brew,” Pesch said. “To create a sensory experience and a mouthfeel, we’ve increased carbonation 10 percent higher than for sea-level beer. Higher CO2 levels are known to stimulate flavor receptors on the tongue.”

A tasting panel of craft experts, bar owners, and frequent flyers were enlisted to find the best combination of ingredients for the beer. The final product includes Hong Kong-sourced longan fruit (a fruit similar to lychee, also known as “Dragon’s Eye”), Fuggle hops (traditionally used in English ales), and honey sourced from the New Territories in Hong Kong.

Through April 30, the beer will be served to first- and business-class passengers flying between Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.

The beer will also be available at Cathay Pacific’s Hong Kong and Heathrow lounges and select restaurants in Hong Kong.

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