This is how KLM plans to serve draft beer at 35,000 feet

Bradley Wint
Jul 10, 2016 1:17pm AST
Photo: KLM

Flying at 35,000 feet has always been a challenge for airlines in the culinary department. Our taste buds are about 30% less receptive to sweet and salty foods, making meals a bit less enjoyable.

The reduced air pressure has also hindered airlines from serving draft beer straight from the tap, but KLM and Heineken have found a solution to this. It’s not the first time draft beer is being served on board a flight, but KLM’s technique seems to be more practical.

Traditional carbon dioxide cartridges and tanks cannot be used at cruising altitudes as the low air cabin pressure results in a mostly foamy drink, which no one really wants.

To compensate for this, they developed a trolley consisting of an air pressure compressor (which replaces the carbon dioxide pressurization), and a thermos-like storage container for the beer.

You may be wondering where the cooling aspect fits in to this.

Unfortunately the airline has to discard the cooling system to make those dispenser carts fit in the aisles without taking up too much space.

They plan to load each flight (on select routes) with 4 cold kegs of beer, which should stay chilled for up to eight hours.

The companies also made a few adjustments to the diameter of the tap, promising the same great taste as if you had one poured at your local bar. For those who prefer biting cold glass of beer, then you may be out of luck, but this solution should work fine for the rest of us.

KLM was hoping to introduce its new on tap delivery system this month on long haul flights to Curaçao, but they were still unable to obtain certification in time, but are hoping to have everything in place from August on select flights out of Amsterdam.

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