What Beers and Booze Would You Put on Frontier Airlines?

All types of folks reach out to us here at B&WB, but this is the first time we’ve ever been approached by an airline.

Yesterday, Brian Dassell, the manager of the food and beverage program at Frontier Airlines left us a comment on the About the Brothers page, asking what we thought of the recent changes Frontier has made to the in-flight menu.

I immediately thought “why limit such a juicy question to just Don and I?!” I figured it might be fun for you guys and gals to let him know as well, and while you’re at it, maybe take a crack at revamping the menu yourself.  I figure we can leave the wine and Greek Chicken Salad to the vino-freaks and foodies, but the booze and the beer is fair game!

To make things a little more interesting, I’m going to suggest a few guidelines.

  1. Frontier is headquartered in Colorado, and I’m all about supporting the local economy, so I suggest sticking with Colorado brews if possible.
  2.  NO BOTTLES – they ‘splode!  There’s a reason you can’t get a corked Belgian Dubbel at 33,000 feet.  Canned beers and plastic booze samples only please.
  3. Remember, not everyone is a crazy beer nerd – make sure to leave something for the steel worker who just wants a goddamn can of beer!
  4. I’m not sure I care about this one so much, but ABV should be a consideration.  The flight attendants don’t need to go pulling out the Taser just because you decided it’d be a good idea to let Ned from Omaha put a couple of Ten Fidy’s under his belt.

Click here to see the rest of the in-flight catering menu

Right now, the beer line up is as follows:

  • Coors Light
  • Miller Lite
  • Blue Moon
  • Dos Equis
  • Fat Tire Amber Ale

Here’s what I’d suggest instead (I’ll leave the booze for Don to sort out):

  • Miller Lite: If I have to leave one, it’s better than Coors Light – barely Aw, screw it – I couldn’t do it!
  • New Belgium Fat Tire: Yes, it’s not great, but it’s from CO, many people like it, and it comes in a can. Nothing wrong with a crafty crowd pleaser, although Crazy Mountain Amber Ale is a more hip choice here.
  • Brekenridge Avalanche Ale: Sure it’s a little middle-of-the-road, but it beats Miller Lite!  Again, baby steps, people!
  • Avery’s White Rascal: Let’s get some fruity wheat action happenin’ six miles high!  I might rotate this with Avery’s Ellie’s Brown Ale, just to keep the frequent fliers guessing.
  • Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale : Because it’s what I would order and I’m making the damn list! But if I have to reach a bit outside my comfort zone then I’d go with Ska Brewing’s Modus Hoperandi.
  • Until Sam Adams comes in a can, we need a safety beer for the craft adverse folks.  Wait screw them – the can fly United.  Let’s put a Crabtree Oatmeal Stout in here – what the hell.  I’ve never had it, but I figure Coach is as good a place as any to give ‘er a whirl.

So those are my picks – what would yours be?  As always, let us know in the comments below!

But not before you return your seatback and folding tray to the upright position…



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28 Comments on “What Beers and Booze Would You Put on Frontier Airlines?”

  1. johnking82
    February 22, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but the dozen times I have checked bags with bottles on them…I’ve had zero explode. The pressure is equalized I thought…

    • February 22, 2012 at 8:37 am #

      I thought the cargo hold is less pressurized than the cabin space so checked bottles wouldn’t explode. There might be an issue if bottles are in flight for multiple trips – the pressure could build up.

    • February 22, 2012 at 8:45 am #

      You’re correct, they don’t ‘splode regularly, but It’s a possibility. The bigger thing probably is broken glass and the fact that cans are more space efficient.

      Apparently the moron who wrote this article failed to motion that! 🙂

      • johnking82
        February 22, 2012 at 8:52 am #

        Well, your bring a good point up about broken glass, Annie Lennox. Cans are viewed as more convenient as well. They take up less space and you never know what crazy won’t break a bottle and try to shank someone because they didn’t get a bag of peanuts.

        I find it difficult not to include high ABV beers because they carry the same weight as a Jim Beam or Jack Daniels would on the flight. I generally never drink on a plane, but seeing some of those beers may entice me (Unless where I just came from was an event that involved drinking).

        • February 22, 2012 at 8:54 am #

          I guess you haven’t flown with a two year old, John. I would love higher ABV beer as well – which is why I usually order a gin and tonic. 🙂

        • February 22, 2012 at 8:58 am #

  2. February 22, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Jim – that’s a nice list! Is there any CO brewery doing a canned lager or a cream ale? I would add it just to appease the “I want a Miller Lite” dudes who fly.

    Boulder Brewing’s Hazed and Infused is something I’d love to see on an airline. Too bad Great Divide doesn’t can.

    Obviously, my list would be much different – but I’m not very familiar with canned options from CO.

    • February 22, 2012 at 10:11 am #

      I figire Fat Tire is close enough! Flus the Avalanche is a pretty gentle fellow as well.

  3. February 22, 2012 at 9:06 am #

    There are lots of really great canned craft beers in Colorado, but I think it would be cool to feature a single brewery that most of Frontier’s passengers do not normally have access to. Boulder’s Upslope Brewing cans all of their beer and features:

    Craft Lager (for the Bud fans)
    Pale Ale
    Brown Ale
    Foreign Style Stout (which is limited edition, for now)

    Each of these beers is very, very good and the packaging is sleek and airline-ey.

    Of course, I wouldn’t ever object to seeing the Oskar Blues lineup either! Any chance they can do this before my next flight on Frontier in May?

    • February 22, 2012 at 10:12 am #

      Love this idea of a single brewery, but the only one I’m really familiar with is Oskar Blues. Putting that lineup in the cabin would be good times, good times…

      I’m interested to check out Upslope – I love their packaging!

      • February 22, 2012 at 10:56 am #

        The very best idea would be to rotate Colorado breweries every four months. I’d put Upslope, Avery, and Oskar Blues in there, since their canned lines couls accomodate the widest variety of styles. Also, true beer geeks could plan their trips around the beer rotation. Oskar Blues on the departing flight, then Upslope on the trip home!

  4. February 22, 2012 at 9:19 am #

    I think you need to represent the major genres here: an IPA (Dale’s of course); a decent Lager or Pilsner, a dunkel, stout, or porter (Breckinridge Vanilla Porter comes to mind); a decent high ABV brew–probably in the form of a barleywine; and a dessert beer–probably one w/ a strong chocolate base.

    • February 22, 2012 at 10:14 am #

      I almost went with Avery Joe’s Pilsner, but scrapped it for the White Rascal instead. I tried to provide an assortment of popular styles for all kinds of beer drinkers without getting TOO nerdy.

  5. Beth Harris
    February 22, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    Abita Beer out of Louisiana — Purple Haze, Turbodog & Amber. Just released in cans!

    • February 22, 2012 at 10:08 am #

      While I love having these beers whenever I go to Nola (which is every spring), Jim’s point was that this is Colorado company and that the beers should reflect that. Besides, for my taste, Jockamo can’t be beat! 😉

    • February 22, 2012 at 10:15 am #

      Love the fact that these now come in can – Let the good times…come in cans…or something! 🙂

  6. February 22, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but Frontier used to serve Dale’s a few year back, but gave in to big beer. They only recently (last year or 2?) started serving Fat Tire. I agree, they should stick with the locals, and I think your list is spot on. If not the Crabtree Oatmeal Stout, then maybe the Upslope Foreign Stout instead.

    Coincidentally, I’m flying Frontier tomorrow and will be drinking Fat Tire….but a Dale’s would be oh-so-much better.

    • February 22, 2012 at 10:16 am #

      I’m not sure about Frontier’s history with Dale’s, but if that was the case, it certainly makes me long for the good old days!

      Happy trails and enjoy that Fat Tire – certainly beats a Heinie!

  7. February 22, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    There are so many good beers in cans from here, but unfortunately for the average drinker, the vast majority are IPAs; the selection should rotate based upon that. Here’s my two cents on Colorado canned beer:

    Avery Joe’s Pilsner (for the Bud drinking crowd)
    Ska Modus Hopperandi or True Blonde Pale or Steel Toe Stout
    The obligatory Dales Pale Ale
    Steamworks Colorado Kolsch
    Wynkoop B3K Black Lager

  8. Jonathan Weech
    February 22, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Maybe they should take a page out of Horizon Airlines book. Horizon offers free Northwest micro’s on all flights. Usually just a selection of one or two, but rarely disappointed…It is free after all, so even if it’s Pyramid Hefe you can’t complain too much.

  9. ThirstyNomad
    February 22, 2012 at 10:57 am #

    As tempting as it is to change everything I think we have to remember they likely have a lot of folks that actually like Coors or Miller. I give them credit for trying to do something decent. Have you seen what junk other airlines carry?

    • February 22, 2012 at 11:06 am #

      I agree that it’s better than most, but there’s still room for improvement, especially now that so many great beers (not just geeky ones) come in cans. Still, I’d be thrilled to be offered a Fat Tire on a flight. It’s a step in the right direction for sure.

      • ThirstyNomad
        February 22, 2012 at 11:13 am #

        I end up flying Southwest or Delta most of the time and dont even bother to look at the beer choices. I could easily do Fat Tire or Blue Moon… Alas Heineken is best they offer… Blah.

  10. ThirstyNomad
    February 22, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Just checked out the link and was immediately hit by Jack Daniels Single Barrel, wich is easily my favorite whiskey. I have never even seen this in the small airline-size bottles, much less actually seen it on a plane… Hell, most hotels dont even have it. I have no idea how the sample size bottles compare to the standard liquor store size (750????), but $7 seems like a steal.

    • Don
      February 22, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

      I did notice that, and told Brian that that was a great choice, and I also like the Glenlivet and the Jameson’s. I said that the Canadian Club should be upgraded to a Pendletons or a Crown Royal, and that the Makers is a safe choice, but should also be complemented by a non-wheat bourbon like a Wild Turkey 101 or for their premium selection a Wild Turkey Rare Breed would be great. But I agree that the whiskey and spirit selection is far more solid than the beer selections. And I don’t care what Jim says Ten Fidy ought to be a choice on the beer cart!

  11. NicM
    February 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Avery White Rascal and Joe’s Pils, SKA True Blonde, and Upslope Craft Lager all come in cans and any of them would make a good substitute for the Miller/Coors. At this point so many local breweries are doing cans it’s really hard to pick just a few. A rotating list that always has a Miller/Coors sub, an IPA, a dark beer, and one for the geeks could be really good.

  12. February 24, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    Hey guys,

    This is Alex at the Brewers Association and I’d like to get your contact info for use with Brewers Association related outreach. Please give me an email and we’ll be in touch.


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