Delta Complicates Craft Beer Offering as Only an Airline Could

Delta Air Lines Regional Craft BeersGood news: Delta Airlines just announced that they’ll be serving up a variety of craft beers on many of their flights!

Typical news: They’re doing it in a way that’s more complicated than figuring out how to use your frequent flyer points

Bad news: You have to fly with Delta Airlines to participate.  (Sorry, this one was too easy – because it’s true!) 

Delta has just issued a press release saying they will be offering local craft beers on select flights in a move that “continues the airline’s focus on bringing regional food, wine and now beer to the in-flight experience.”

Many of the breweries involved are widely known like Stone, Lagunitas, Brooklyn Brewery, and Ballast Point, while others (looking at you Newburyport and Blue Point) are beers with smaller regional followings.

It all sounds nice enough, but just wait until they try to explain which flights will be offering up the beers.  From the press release:

The selection of regional craft beers are available on Delta’s West Coast Shuttle between Los Angeles and San Francisco; between New York-LaGuardia and Boston, Washington-Regan National and Chicago-O’Hare; on Delta’s transcontinental routes between New York-JFK and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle; and on flights between Atlanta and New York-LaGuardia, Washington-Reagan National and Dulles, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa and New Orleans. Samuel Adams is available on all other domestic routes in the U.S.

Got all that?  This passage makes up almost half the text in the press release, so you know they thought it was important to share, even if it’s almost impossible to parse.

Thankfully, they also created the image you see above that lays out which beers are available on which routes in a fairly simple way.  Unfortunately, they’ve made the image and text so small that it’s almost impossible to read.  Even at the largest size provided by the airline, the image of their overly complicated regional craft beer offerings is a poorly conceived blur of maddening missteps.

Just like flying with Delta.  😉

Maybe they should do what other airlines have done – offer up a selection of craft beers from the city where they’re headquartered.  Frontier does this with Colorado beers, and Sun Country Air out of Minneapolis offers brews from Surly on their flights.

Then again, Delta is headquartered in Atlanta, so maybe they don’t have a lot of local breweries to choose from.  There’s Sweetwater (whose 420 is being served on certain Atlanta-based flights) and…uh…Terrapin?

At any rate, it’s nice to see them try, and it’d be great to have the option of drinking a Ballast Point Sculpin IPA on the way to San Diego. I just wish they weren’t so “airline-y” about the whole thing.



Tip of the hat to none other than Brother Don for posting this news to Facebook – now I wish he’d post something here!


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Categories: Beer, News


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

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20 Comments on “Delta Complicates Craft Beer Offering as Only an Airline Could”

  1. December 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm #

    Kudos to Delta for serving beer with that same dedication to reliable service that they provide their passengers.

    • December 5, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      “Sorry sir, we’ve seem to have misplaced the beer cart. Take this form to the service desk and wait in line until they can help you find your beverage…”

  2. December 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    I refuse to provide my business to the airlines until such time as they go back to a stakeholder model of Capitalism. The which, at my age, probably means the rest of my life.

    • December 5, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

      Hope you have comfortable shoes!

  3. December 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    And I like Terrapin’s Treehugger btw (no surprise there huh guys?)

    • December 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm #

      Everything I’ve had from Terrapin has been too “gentle” for me, which makes it right up you alley.

  4. johnking82
    December 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    tap tap, is this thing on?

    • December 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm #


  5. December 5, 2014 at 3:44 pm #

    That seat with the taps would be awesome until the guy in front of you reclined.

    • December 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

      Especially if you had your laptop open and jerkface in front of you whips his seat back without first giving a little warning tilt. I’ve almost had my screen pinched and split more than once!

  6. Michael
    December 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    Georgia laws are not the best. However, some sites show Strawn Brewerey, BurntHickory,5 Season Brewpub,EvenTide Brewing, Monday Night Brewing, Wrecking Bar Brewpub, Sweetwater, Jailhouse Brewing and maybe a few others in and around Atlanta. And maybe a few other brew pubs.

    • December 5, 2014 at 4:12 pm #

      I think the issue is that no one’s likely heard of any of these small Georgia breweries, so the gesture of offering cool craft beers would largely be lost on most passengers.

      • December 6, 2014 at 10:04 am #

        You aren’t saying that travelers need to know the brewery for it to be considered worthy of being considered? Since the effort is to provide regional items then, by definition, lots of folks outside the area won’t know the products. I have a sneaking suspicion there are some “advertising dollars” being thrown around.

        I’d like to see them rotate selections around and not just zero in on the largest in the region. Sweetwater is the largest regional brewery in Georgia but lots of others, many of them new and making exciting stuff, are canning their beers and deserve a shot at getting the exposure.

      • December 8, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

        I suspect the smaller breweries do not bottle or can their beer. The only way to buy their stuff is to go to the brewery.

        I suppose the attendants could strap the kegs to their backs as is done at baseball stadiums in Japan.

        • dplittle
          December 8, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

          Actually, many of the newest ones here in Georgia are canning. I applaud the decline of bottles myself. I’m a “can man”.

        • Joe
          December 13, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

          There are loads of canned and bottled GA beers, in addition to the ones Micheal listed, Three Taverns, Red Hare, Orpheus, Creature Comforts, and Wild Heaven. Plus more that are going to be bottling soon, like Blue Tarp.
          And in Georgia you can’t buy beer from a brewery, you have to buy it elsewhere. (Breweries are allowed to sell glassware and tours with free samples, but they technically not allowed to sell beer to the public)

          And for my part, I’m far more excited about a beer that I’ve never heard of than Stone, Languinitas, or the like.

  7. December 5, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

    You could probably answer this if Delta’s announcement had a large enough font: Does this mean they are carrying bottles on board or are these breweries all using cans now?

    • December 5, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

      Good question, especially because Stone doesn’t can their beers, and last I spoke to them (going back 6 months or so) they had no plans to. Lemme do some digging…

  8. December 9, 2014 at 8:32 am #

    Reblogged this on Hello world.!!.


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