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Cathay Pacific creates the world’s first beer for 35,000 ft

Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong Beer Company and McCann Worldgroup have collaborated to create Betsy beer, what it says is the world’s first ale specially brewed for 35,000 feet.

Named after the airline’s first aircraft, a Douglas DC-3 which flew passengers around the region in the 1940s and 1950s, Betsy beer fuses aviation science with traditional brewing techniques, to create a unique brew that supposedly tastes great anywhere in the world, but especially up in the air.

The company said cabin pressure and altitude affects passengers’ taste buds, so it needed to create a base brew that could overcome these conditions and perform well at altitude.

To create Betsy beer, McCann Worldgroup and Cathay Pacific joined forces with the Hong Kong Beer Company.

As a wheat beer, Betsy beer has a reduced bitterness. It also has an increased carbonation of over 10% to stimulate receptors on the tongue. As an unfiltered brew it retains Vitamin B, known for its restorative properties at altitude.

Cathay Pacific also wanted to put travel at the heart of Betsy’s DNA. That’s why the beer is enhanced with a marriage of flavours from two great travel and beer destinations: Hong Kong and the UK. Ingredients include dragon eye fruit and New Territories honey sourced in Hong Kong, and Fuggle hops from Kent in the UK.

Julian Lyden, general manager, marketing at Cathay Pacific Airways said the company always looks for meaningful ways to enhance the travel experience for its customers. “To help passengers experience something memorable for the first time is a big part of what we mean by ‘travelling well’. Betsy beer is a great example of this. A beautifully crafted product designed purely with the traveller, and beer lover, in mind.”

Martin Lever, executive creative director of McCann Worldgroup Hong Kong said, “Every great idea needs a strong insight. We know that when you fly, your sense of taste changes. Airlines address this for food in certain ways. But nobody has ever tried to improve the taste of beer at altitude. Until now. This provided us with a perfect opportunity to go beyond traditional advertising in order to make a strong emotional connection with travellers.”

Betsy beer will be available in first and business classes on all flights between Hong Kong and the UK from 1 March. It will also be available at a select number of restaurants in Hong Kong, including Mr and Mrs Fox, Cafe Gray Deluxe, Plat du Jour, Public, Sugar and The Continental.

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