Bad Beer in the Air

I’m out of pocket today, in San Francisco for work. My boss and I flew in last night, and I had the pleasure of flying first class (I highly recommend doing this, especially when work pays!).

Last time I flew, it was business class on Lufthansa to Germany. I think I was spoiled by the beer selection on that flight, which included a nice German Pils.

Last night was a different experience. I hate to sound like a snob, but the plane was old, the seats were cramped (especially for first class) and the beer selection blew. Way to go United.

I was offered Heinekken, Miller Genuine Draft and Miller Lite. I first tried MGD, which actually wasn’t bad (our family is from Milwaukee, so I have a soft spot for Miller) and then went Heinekken. Then I gave up.

The company I’m visiting is talking us out tonight, and I’m hoping there’s some nice California selections, especially because I’m taking the red eye home and I know the beer sucks up there.

In the meantime I wanted to at least check in with you folks today, badly enough to do this whole post from my iPhone (that’s why Don added the picture later).

Anyway, have a great weekend everybody!

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Categories: Beer


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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23 Comments on “Bad Beer in the Air”

  1. Dave
    June 17, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    I made that flight last thursday (from Boston) in coach unfortunately. The beer selection does indeed suck. Although I feel a little better knowing it wasn’t any better in first class.

    • June 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      That’s what pisses me off – it’s SUPPOSED to be better in First Class!

  2. June 17, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I really dig the comments layout here.

    On another note, it looks like the blog posts are being double posted to Twitter.


    • June 17, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

      Thanks, Adam! I’ve tried to figure out the double Tweet thing, but to no aval.

  3. Matt M
    June 17, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    I think we will see this slowly change as more craft brewers start canning. I see New Belgium is canning now and Fat Tire is becoming the new gateway craft beer so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them added to the list.

    • June 17, 2011 at 1:30 pm #

      I would’ve killed for a Monk’s Blood!

  4. Angela Arp
    June 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Should have flown Virgin America, they serve 21st Amendment. or Hawaiian Airlines has Maui!

    • June 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

      Now you tell me!

  5. JB
    June 17, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

    I’ve never been on a flight that had any other selection but that. I usually go with Heineken out of those options, I must say that it tastes FAR better out of a can than it does in that damn green bottle.

    • June 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

      That’s true, Jason. It was better than usual, and the the glass they give in First Class made it even better.

      But still, tue lesser of three evils.

  6. June 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    hey jim, i’m a long time reader of your blog and we just started a brewery a few months ago here in SF.

    if you get a chance please try our Cherry Voodoo California Tripel!

    • June 17, 2011 at 2:13 pm #

      I’ll keep an eye out for it Aaron. Thanks for he heads up!

  7. June 17, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    If you get the chance, try and head over to Thirsty Bear, great food and pretty good beers made on site.

    Unless I’m flying coast to coast like you just did, I just skip the beer on flights anymore. Hopefully, like Matt mentioned, we’ll at least get Fat Tire on some flights in the near future.

    • June 17, 2011 at 5:27 pm #

      Sounds great, but I’m in a pipeline between the hotel, work and the airport – no fun for me!

  8. June 17, 2011 at 3:11 pm #

    I feel your craft beer pain. I just returned from a trip to Austin and while I had a handful of impressive brews out there (Live Oak, (512) and St. Arnold’s to name a few), I didn’t even think about ordering one in the Mile High Club Car.

    A few years back, though, I had an Alaskan Amber on an Air Canada flight from SeaTac to Kelowna, B.C.. A nice surprise.


    • June 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

      I’m not going to get the chance to try anything while in San Fran – it’s a blitzkrieg kind of trip. Maybe a Napa wine with dinner, but who cares about wine?!

      • Don
        June 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

        I heard it’s made with grapes! Weird…

  9. Mark
    June 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm #


    You must get to the Toronado bar in the Haight. Their beer selection will blow your mind and what better place for that then the Haight.

    • June 17, 2011 at 5:29 pm #

      I wish I could – I’m not going to be able to make it there! Thanks for the heads up, though, even if I’m not going to get a taste.

  10. Don
    June 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

    I guess I’ve been spoiled. I rarely fly cross country, and mostly fly Horizon Air. They have a complementary Northwest Wine or Microbrew on every flight. I just checked this months offering and it is less than stellar. It is Pyramid Curve Ball Blonde Ale. Noth the greatest, but I’ve had Stone Arrogant Bastard, Alaskan Amber, Dicks IPA, Grand Teton Sweetgrass IPA, and Laughing Dog selections before. Nice that a regional airline like that really gets it. You might think that its more expensive, but they are price competitive with Southwest so I can’t complain.

    • June 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

      Sounds better than the crap they serve on United. The big boys just don’t try!

      • Don
        June 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

        Yeah, they’ve got you in the seats anyway. They don’t need to try that hard.

  11. June 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    No selection at dinner either? I don’t expect airlines to have much selection (must try Alaska Air more often). But restaurants? And,in SF? I am disappointed.

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