Cathay brings back Betsy, the beer specially made to taste good on planes

Oct 30, 2019

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You know the feeling of settling into your airplane seat and ordering a nice drink to kick off a vacation? And the feeling that maybe that drink tastes a bit off?

Even if you’re not much of an alcohol snob, you may have noticed a difference in the taste of your favorite drink while flying. You’re not crazy — the lack of humidity mixed with the lower air pressure than on the ground interferes with taste receptors, making certain drinks (and foods) taste different. Enter Betsy.

That’s what Cathay Pacific calls the specially brewed craft beer it has created specifically to be enjoyed at cruising altitude.

Related: Stellar Service: Cathay Pacific (777-300ER) in Economy From Los Angeles to Hong Kong

Betsy was first introduced in 2017 and was exclusive to first and business class on flights between Hong Kong and London. It was also only available for a limited time. Cathay is now reintroducing a new edition of the beer and making it available to passengers in all classes flying on select long-haul routes. Bottles will be served in Business and First Class and cans will be offered in Economy and Premium Economy. Travelers will also be able to give Betsy a taste at any of the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong lounges.

The name is an homage to Cathay’s first airplane, a Douglas DC-3 twin prop that started the fleet in 1946. As for what Betsy actually tastes like, it’s an unfiltered wheat beer, with higher carbonation than normal. According to Australia-based Executive Traveller, it’s “decidedly full-flavoured and noticeably sweet and aromatic” on the ground, but once in flight, the “formerly up-front sweetness is dialled back.”

Related: Economy Pax Can Pay to Access Select Cathay Pacific Lounges — Yoga Studio Included

You can sip the special beer on the following routes from Hong Kong: Adelaide, Auckland, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Boston, Brisbane, Brussels, Cairns, Chicago, Dubai, Dublin, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, London (Gatwick), London (Heathrow), Los Angeles, Madrid, Male, Manchester, Melbourne, Milan, New York (JFK), New York (Newark), Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Seattle, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington DC, Zurich.

Cheers to that!

Featured photo courtesy of Cathay Pacific.

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