Cathay Pacific’s Betsy Beer soars sky-high

by James Wilkinson

Cathay Pacificʼs hugely popular Betsy Beer is back and itʼs better than ever with a new taste, a new look and a new rollout making it available to passengers on long-haul flights in all cabins as well as Hong Kong International Airportʼs Cathay Pacific lounge.

The return of Cathay Pacificʼs signature, locally brewed craft beer is one of the latest enhancements the airline is making to its passenger inflight experience.

The Betsy Beer brew became an instant hit when it was first rolled out in February 2017 to First and Business Class passengers on flights between Hong Kong and the UK. The beer takes its name from “Betsy”, Cathay Pacificʼs first aircraft, a Douglas DC-3, which flew passengers around the region in the 1940s and 1950s.

A citrus-forward Pale Ale, Betsy Beer was created in partnership with expert Hong Kong brewery Gweilo Beer.

Building on the original “Betsy” DNA, the beer is brewed from a predominantly unroasted malted barley base together with roasted barley to give a sweet, malty profile with hints of bread, biscuit and toffee. Locally sourced orange peel is added in the boil to help further form the flavour.

The beer is then fermented using Gweiloʼs house ale yeast, after which it is dry hopped with a blend of citrus and orange-forward hops to complete the aroma and flavour profile.

Cathay Pacific General Manager Customer Experience and Design Vivian Lo said: “Betsy Beer was incredibly popular with customers when we originally launched it over two years ago, and weʼre thrilled to offer this specially created Hong Kong-made beer once again.

“Whether youʼre a newcomer to craft beer or a passionate enthusiast, Betsy Beer has something for everyone. Its character is both distinctly Cathay Pacific and distinctly Hong Kong, and itʼs the perfect accompaniment to the diverse options served as part of our inflight culinary experience.”

Alongside the return of Betsy Beer, Cathay Pacific has collaborated with Hong Kongʼs most dynamic food group, Black Sheep Restaurants, to develop a menu for its Economy Class cabin on all long-haul flights from Hong Kong.

“Weʼre delighted to be partnering with Black Sheep Restaurants, bringing together two Hong Kong-based companies who share a similar passion for innovation and world-class hospitality,” Lo said.

“Our home city has a food culture that is both eclectic and vibrant, and this new menu celebrates that with dishes spanning a multitude of different cuisines. Not only does it build on our core of authentic, heart-warming classics from our Hong Kong Flavours concept that rolled out earlier this year, it also adds a whole new dimension to the quintessentially ʻHong Kongʼ culinary experience our passengers can look forward to every time they fly with us.”