While mini bottles of liquor have long been a crucial component of any successful flight, one clever airline will soon offer passengers the chance to sip cold draft beer while they cruise at 35,000 feet.
Beginning in August, the geniuses at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will start serving chilled Heineken on tap to their customers. Though flights were supposed to start incorporating the special amenity back in July, the launch was delayed due to difficulties securing the necessary safety certificates.
"We are always looking for typical Dutch products to set us apart from other companies,” Miriam Kartman, KLM's vice president of in-flight services, told Fox News in an interview. “Heineken is our beer partner for many years, and we both know that customers rate a beer from draught higher than out of a can.”
Given how air travel has changed in recent years—with companies offering passengers in-flight showers and an assortment of bottled craft beers—a Dutch lager on tap was simply the natural progression of things. Still, there's a reason draft beer hasn't been featured on flights sooner. Traveling at such high altitudes created a unique set of challenges for developers, especially when it came to designing a beer tap that would function properly.
“Because the air pressure is so much lower in an aeroplane than at sea level, a traditional beer tap will not work as it will only dispense a huge amount of foam," Edwin Griffioen, the man who ultimately designed the new tap, explained.
Though CO2 cartridges are typically used in home taps, they're prohibited on airplanes, and other installation methods ultimately took up too much room in the cabin.
"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," Griffioen explained. "In the end we had to leave out one of those pieces to make it all fit, so with pain in our hearts we had to leave the cooling behind."
But don't worry—passengers will still be able to get a cold draft even without the traditional cooling system. Heineken will deliver four cold kegs to each airplane, and the flight's drink trolley will maintain the ideal temperature. According to Griffioen the cooling system has been restructured to operate more like a thermos.
So forget canned beers and shooters, draft beer is now the luxury airline beverage of the future.
[via Fox News]