Oktoberfest in the sky: Top beer offerings on airlines around the world

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Autumn, most often associated with changing foliage, Halloween and dull weather, but it’s also time of the largest beer drinking festival in the world. Oktoberfest!

As the travel experts, we wanted to take an in depth look at the best in-flight beer offerings above the clouds – so whether you’re traveling to Germany with the 6 million other Oktoberfest goers, or you’re going to catch last of the summer rays somewhere in Caribbean – having a bottle or two is always a good idea, because let’s be honest, beer makes the ride a little less bumpy…

Oktoberfest in the sky: Top beer offerings on airlines around the world 18

Southwest Airlines

America’s answer to Ryanair, Southwest Airlines is dedicated to making sure you have a blast during your flight, and their beer selections falls nothing short of your expectations. Southwest was one of the pioneers of bringing specialty beer onboard their crafts, and they stick to their reputation of being affordable with reasonable pricing.

Inflight Offerings:
New Belgium Fat Tire known for a perfectly balanced flavour.
Leinenkugel’s Seasonal, if you’re lucky, maybe they’ll have the “Oktoberfest” seasonal available.
Dos Equis Lager Especial, a classic pale malt designed for drink-ability.

British Airways

One of the most iconic and largest global airlines is proudly selling London Pride’s brews. You couldn’t experience more of the Britishness than sampling these ales, which are brewed right beside the River Thames. Popular lager choices such as Heineken and Amstel are also available as well as Asia’s famous Tiger beer.

Inflight Offerings:
Fuller’s Pride London, quintessentially British ales

Bernt Rostad, Brewer's Reserve No 1 via Flickr CC BY 2.0
Bernt Rostad, Brewer’s Reserve No 1 via Flickr CC BY 2.0

United Airlines

United Airlines started offering specialty beers on flights back in 2010, and they are still going strong 5 years later. Make sure you ask your flight attendant if your beer is on the house the next time you take a long-haul-flight. Beers are complimentary on some longer flights as of April of this year.

Inflight Offerings:
Goose Island IPA, a hop lovers heaven.

brown 727, Goose Island IPA via Flickr CC BY 2.0
brown 727, Goose Island IPA via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Icelandair

Despite having two menus catering for European and North American markets, the famous Icelandic beer is served for both markets, because who wouldn’t want to taste a beer brewed from crystal clear Icelandic water?!

Inflight Offerings:
As mentioned, authentically Icelandic beer brewed from clear Icelandic waters (probably melted glaciers)

Hawaiian Airlines

Amber DeGrace, Maui Brewing Company Coconut Porter via Flickr CC BY 2.0
Amber DeGrace, Maui Brewing Company Coconut Porter via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Everything about Hawaiian Airlines looks and feels authentically Hawaiian from the flight attendants outfits to the pineapple snacks. Fittingly, they’ve also brought one of the largest local breweries to the sky. As they say in Hawaii, Hipahipa (Cheers)!

Inflight Offerings:
Maui Brewing Company’s Biking Blonde Lager, a light 100% malt beer that’ll make you feel like you’re on a beach.

Lufthansa Airlines

Roger W, Bitburger via Flickr CC BY 2.0
Roger W, Bitburger via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Lufthansa is one of the oldest operating airlines in the world. This German based company brings a taste of the traditional Oktoberfest on your flight. You can expect multiple different options from one of the largest macro breweries in Germany “Warsteiner Brewery”, a brewery famous for its brews which have to pass the German Purity Law (a brewing law) dating back to 1615.

Inflight Offerings:
A lineup of premium beers from Warsteiner Brewery

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has an award-winning meal and beverage service, and we think that it might have to do with their long list of craft brews on board. Kick back and fly with some of the finest beverages available.

Inflight Offerings: 

Macs’s Craft Beers, a macro brewery of New Zealand with big flavors like the Gold All Malt Lager that is smooth and refreshing. Stella Artois, yeast and Saaz hops make for it crisp and smooth every time.

Carlos José, Bottle Cap Collection via Flickr CC BY 2.0
Carlos José, Bottle Cap Collection via Flickr CC BY 2.0

Delta

One of the largest airlines in the world added seven new craft beers to their menu last December to some of their  flights. Depending on where you’re flying out of or going to, you’ll have a selection of local beers to choose from. Delicious and reliable Samuel Adams can be found on some selected flights, so just ask the attendant for selection.

Inflight Offerings:

Fancy imported and craft beers include Blue Moon (North America only) Heineken, Sweet Water and Samuel Adams (Oktoberfest).

Beers of summer via www.cestlavibe.com
Beers of summer via www.cestlavibe.com

…Fly responsibly – cheers!

Oktoberfest in the sky: Top beer offerings on airlines around the world was last modified: December 7th, 2015 by Brooke Parker
Author: Brooke Parker (22 posts)

Brooke is a Boston-based writer and member of the Cheapflights newsletter content team. She has studied the food and wines of Italy, surfed the waves off Costa Rica and hiked the trails of Yosemite National Park.