A couple of months back, KLM announced that they’d be introducing Heineken beer straight from the tap on select KLM flights. That’s right, there’s a special Heineken trolley that flight attendants use to dispense the beer. While I’m not a beer drinker (and I know a lot of people don’t like Heineken), the concept looks awesome, and oh-so-Dutch.
While this concept was announced a couple of months ago, the first flight with beer on tap was just completed. That’s because the regulatory approval delayed the introduction of this offering. Unfortunately they only have one trolley so far, so there’s no way to predict which flight will offer beer on tap. Furthermore, this service is limited to business class passengers.
Here’s how KLM describes the offering on their blog:
A nice, cold, fresh beer, drawn straight from the tap – for some there’s no better way to quench one’s thirst. Usually, you’d sit down at a sidewalk café or nip inside to get the golden nectar, but if the desire for draught catches you unawares, aboard a plane, you’re out of luck. But that’s set to change, because KLM recently served its first draught beer in World Business Class! Not on all flights, unfortunately, because we currently have only one KLM beer trolley at our disposal.
Why, you may well ask, and the answer is that an airborne draught trolley is quite a challenge to design and construct. Most draught systems use CO2 to provide the pressure needed to get the beer flowing. This CO2 is usually pumped into the beer keg from a canister. But flight safety regulations dictate that it’s too dangerous to bring CO2 on board an aircraft. So we had to come up with an alternative solution.
Together with Heineken, we developed something completely new. The BrewLock keg is different in that it makes use of air pressure, rather than CO2. The BrewLock technology uses air pressure to bring the keg pressure to the desired level, compensating for the negative pressure on board and generating sufficient tap pressure for serving.
That may sound like a lot of pressure, but the beer is superb! By cooling the keg before the flight and placing it inside a well-insulated container, we can guarantee perfectly chilled beer throughout the flight.
KLM just released a hilarious advertisement to go along with the beer trolley’s first flight, which I think is much more agreeable than the ad campaign I wrote about yesterday:
Ultimately this is a gimmick more than anything, given that there’s only one such trolley so far. There’s no way to know in advance whether your flight will have the trolley, but rather it’ll just have to be a pleasant surprise if your flight does have it. At least it’s a creative gimmick.
Would you like to see beer on tap on your next flight?