The quality of the inflight dining experience has always been an important focus for Cathay Pacific – the airline has long sought collaborations with renowned partners, restaurants and chefs in order to provide its customers with innovative dishes and beverages as part of its philosophy of a Life Well Travelled. To that end, Hong Kong’s home carrier is delighted today to announce the launch of Betsy Beer, the world’s first hand-crafted bottled beer specially brewed to be enjoyed at 35,000 feet.
Named after “Betsy”, Cathay Pacific’s first aircraft, a Douglas DC-3 which flew passengers around the region in the 1940s and 1950s, Betsy Beer will be first served to First and Business Class passengers onboard flights between Hong Kong and destinations in the United Kingdom – Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester – from 1 March until 30 April 2017.
It isn’t a secret that cabin pressure and altitude affects passengers’ taste buds, but by using a combination of science and traditional brewing methods, Betsy Beer, which Cathay Pacific has produced in harness with Hong Kong Beer Co, is created with a combination of Hong Kong and UK-sourced ingredients, aroma and necessary carbonation to taste great both in the air and on the ground.
The airline’s customer-centric ethos puts the needs of passengers at the heart of every decision it makes as it strives to provide an exceptional experience at every stage of the journey. Betsy Beer’s carefully constructed recipe has been developed accordingly, in order for passengers to enjoy an outstanding one-of-a-kind craft beer at altitude.
The inclusion of “Dragon Eye” fruit is a unique characteristic of the beverage. 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 Programme & 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.
“We are constantly looking for innovative and meaningful ways to enhance the travel experience for our customers. To help passengers experience something memorable for the first time is a big part of what we mean by ‘travelling well’. Betsy Beer is a great example of this. A beautifully crafted product designed purely with the traveller, and beer lover, in mind.”
To ensure the successful marriage of Betsy Beer’s memorable flavours, Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Beer Co invited an expert tasting panel – including Toby Cooper, Founder of the Hong Kong Craft Beer Association; Thomas Lau, Chairman of the Hong Kong Craft Beer Association; May Chow, recently voted Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2017; Willem van Emden, Swire Restaurants’ General Manager; Real Ting, co-founder of the Collaboration Group; and the airline’s management, cabin crew and Marco Polo Club members – to find the perfect balance. The result is a high-quality, great tasting craft ale that has travel in its DNA.
In addition to Cathay Pacific flights operating on routes to the UK, Betsy Beer will be available at ground level at the airline’s lounges in Hong Kong and Heathrow as well as a select number of Swire-owned restaurants in Hong Kong, including Mr & Mrs Fox, Café Gray Deluxe, Plat du Jour, Public, Sugar (Bar.Deck.Lounge) and The Continental for a limited time. It will also be available for online purchase within Hong Kong through Deli Delight – deli-delight.com, the exclusive retailer for Betsy Beer during March and April.