Cathay Pacific’s Betsy beer a top brew for 35,000 feet

by James Wilkinson

Hong Kong’s home carrier has debuted ‘Betsy’, a bottled beer scientifically brewed to be enjoyed at 35,000 feet.

Available at the airline’s lounges and onboard selected flights across the world, Betsy was named after Cathay Pacific’s first aircraft, a Douglas DC-3, which flew passengers around the region in the 1940s and 1950s.

By using a combination of science and traditional brewing methods, Betsy Beer, which Cathay Pacific has produced in partnership with Hong Kong Beer Co, is created with a combination of Hong Kong and European ingredients, aroma and necessary carbonation to taste great both in the air and on the ground.

For the sake of creating a beverage for altitude (it’s no secret that cabin pressure and altitude affects passengers’ senses, dulling taste buds by up to 30%), Betsy is carbonated to 2.75 v/v, which is nearly 7% higher than the carbonation level of beer that’s typically brewed at sea level.

The increased level of carbonation increases the sensory experience of the drinker as higher CO2 levels stimulate flavour receptors on the tongue, encouraging more enhanced senses of taste and touch (by the tongue; texture).

The flavour profile is also unique. The inclusion of Dragon Eye fruit is a unique characteristic of the beverage. Known for its aromatic properties, the fruit adds to the round, rich, textural properties that make the beer distinctive. This flavour is enhanced further by the inclusion of a small component of New Territories’-sourced honey in the brewing process, giving the beer agreeable floral notes, while the use of Fuggle, a revered hop and a mainstay of traditional British craft ales, lends it a pleasingly earthy and full-bodied flavour.

To ensure the successful marriage of Betsy Beer’s memorable flavours, Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Beer Co invited an expert tasting panel – including Toby Cooper, Founder of the Hong Kong Craft Beer Association; Thomas Lau, Chairman of the Hong Kong Craft Beer Association; May Chow, recently voted Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2017; Willem van Emden, Swire Restaurants’ General Manager; Real Ting, co-founder of the Collaboration Group; and the airline’s management, cabin crew and Marco Polo Club members – to find the perfect balance. The result is a high-quality, great tasting craft ale that has travel in its DNA.

Cathay Pacific serves over 170 destinations worldwide. Out of Australia, the airline has over 70 flights a week to Hong Kong from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Cairns. All Australian flights offer three classes of travel – Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy
Cass – providing excellent, award-winning levels of service to both the business and leisure traveller.

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