Over the weekend, I flew to and from Milwaukee on US Airways*. I was tipped off that they had added Shock Top--a Belgian-style unfiltered wheat ale brewed with real citrus peels and coriander spice. It's made by the Shock Top Brewery in St Louis, Missouri according to the can. (Why must they do this? We all know it's ABI.)
I hadn't had one before. It's a bit too orange soda for me. If I'm going to give my money to a Belgian-Brazilian multinational I'd prefer a Hoegaarden with it's touch of bitterness and not so sweet finish.
I know that smaller airlines are adding craft beers. I'm guessing that it's easier to do when your flight segments are regionalized and you can ensure that canned versions are available in all of your destinations. A larger carrier probably has work with larger brands. US Airways has 200+ destinations and they rank #10 in carrier size. Maybe a New Belgium or a Sierra Nevada will be able to someday be everywhere that larger airlines fly. Until then, I think we're relegated to major beers on major carriers.
I didn't come to bash Shock Top. Think about it. Shock Top hit the market in 2006. If I told you in 2005 we'd be drinking Wit beer on airplanes someday, we'd probably be thinking, "Ooh wit bier on a jet plane! How Continental! What a bright future we have."
And, the future... It is bright.
*Disclaimer- I am married to the most attractive US Airways employee ever.