KLM is on the brink of a world-beating in-flight innovation – the tapping and serving of fresh draft beer aboard its aircraft.
The airline postponed the launch, planned for this month, after striking a hitch in obtaining certification for its revolutionary new in-flight beer trolley which pours a fresh beer at high altitude. Once the new system is up and running, no longer will beer lovers have to be content with bottles or cans.
Although KLM was planning to launch the new service this month, it may take a few weeks longer, a spokesman for the carrier told Dutch airline publication Luchtvaartnieuws.nl.
Serving draft beer at high altitude is a challenge because carbon dioxide pressurisation can make the beer spray from the tap like a fire hydrant, or fill a glass with froth rather than liquid.
Undaunted, renowned Dutch brewer Heineken developed a radical new keg system powered by air pressure instead of CO2 canisters. It enables beer to be poured at altitudes of up to 32,000 feet (10 kilometres), Heineken marketing manager Lennart Boorsma, said proudly.
KLM’s special beer trolley is ready to roll as soon as the necessary paperwork is completed. The trolley doesn’t have enough space for a cooling system, so the beer is chilled before the plane departs and insulated to keep it cool for eight hours.
“We are always looking for typical Dutch products to set us apart from other companies,” KLM in-flight services vice president Miriam Kartman said.
“Heineken is our beer partner for many years, and we both know that customers rate a beer from draft higher than out of a can,” she told beerconnoisseur.com.
Written by Peter Needham