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Craft beer wave hits airlines; Delta highest in rating

Blue Moon Belgian White is among the craft

Blue Moon Belgian White is among the craft beers offered on Delta Air Lines. Photo Credit: iStock

After years of less than stellar offerings, airlines are riding the craft brew wave. According to Travel Pulse’s Paul Thompson, more and more are offering the kind of specialized brews that passengers have come to expect when they’re on the ground. Back in 2011, when he first looked into beer offerings, Thompson found that only two U.S. carriers, Alaska and Virgin America, offered craft beers. But that’s changing.

Thompson said part of the reason is that the popularity of craft brews has grown, which means production has increased exponentially, making it possible for smaller brewers to produce enough beers to satisfy the needs of a big airline.

Not all of the brews, however, live up to a true aficionado’s expectations. According to Thompson, using a scoring system developed by the beer-rating site Beer Advocate, Delta Air Lines scores best (73.6) with offerings that include Blue Moon Belgian White and Sweetwater 420 Extra Pale Ale. Alaska Airlines comes in second with a score of 71.8.

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