Toilets Clog On Inaugural Flight Of World's First Craft Beer Airline

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

A beery safety demonstration.

The Doghouse Hotel and Brewery in Columbus, Ohio.

More than 200 beer-loving travellers took to the skies on Thursday aboard the world's first craft beer 'airline, known as Brewdog Airlines. 

The brainchild of the eponymous Scottish brewery, the flight carried 200 of the company's crowdfunding community investors – known as 'Equity Punks' – as well as about 50 of the brewery's staff and members of the media, including Lonely Planet destination editor Megan Eaves, from London Stansted to Columbus Ohio.

Eaves reports that in 2017, Brewdog opened its first North American outlet in Columbus and quickly expanded to three bars in the city. In 2018, the company announced it would open the world's first craft beer hotelin Columbus. The Doghouse Hotel features in-room taps and beer fridges in the showers. The concept for Brewdog Airlines followed shortly after.

The company's founders, James Watt and Martin Dickie, were aboard the flight to welcome travellers. They conducted the safety announcements and gave a beer tasting session once the flight reached cruising altitude.

Brewdog had brewed a special new beer for the occasion -- Flight Club IPA, a 4.5% ABV New England-style IPA. During the tasting session, Watt and Dickie explained that the sense of taste and smell can be dulled during flying, so the beer was designed with a heavy dose of zesty Citra, Simcoe and Chinook hops to intensify the flavours.

During the flight, travellers were treated to free-flowing Brewdog beers and other drinks, as well as meals designed to pair with the brews. Some travellers had come from as far away as Australia to board the charter flight at STN. 

Things took a slightly rocky turn five hours into the 8.5-hour flight when, in true beer event style, the toilets began to fill up in record time. Two and a half hours before landing in Columbus, James Watt came over the PA system to announce that the toilets had to be closed completely, and the pilot said that, during his 25 years of flight service, he'd never once seen the toilets on a Boeing 767 aircraft fill up entirely. 

Equity Punks, however, remained in cheerful spirits throughout the final hours of the flight, though there was a small stampede for the bathrooms on arrival at Rickenbacker International Airport.

Brewdog have not announced plans to expand their charter flight into a commercial operation, but stated that they may run an additional UK–Ohio charter flight later in the year.

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.


Hanna - February 25, 2019 @ 16:25
... and then there is " Stone Brewing of San Diego that unveiled a new beer made from water that “comes from the toilet,” - and they quickly flew on to San Diego

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