JetBlue has chosen to begin serving non-alcoholic beer inflight following a rise in incidents involving intoxicated passengers.
By Riley Pickett for Simple Flying | May 1, 2023
Starting this month, JetBlue will serve non-alcoholic craft beer as a part of its inflight drink service, making it the first major US airline to do so. The announcement comes as the airline enters a partnership with Athletic Brewing Company. Together, the companies plan to offer JetBlue passengers a healthier alternative to traditional craft beers in flight that will allow them to enjoy the great taste of their favorite beverages without the side effects of consuming alcohol.
Both of the involved parties have expressed enthusiasm concerning the new beverage service. The airline has chosen to offer non-alcoholic beer aboard its flights as it has seen a growing demand for such drinks. According to Athletic Brewing, a recent survey discovered that one-third of Americans want to reduce alcohol consumption in 2023. This statistic has manifested itself proudly in the non-alcoholic beverages market, as sales for non-alcoholic drinks have increased 34% nationwide this year.
Athletic Brewing Company is at the forefront of this growth, having seen a 94% increase in sales year-to-date. The five-year-old company anticipates that its beverages will sell extraordinarily well aboard JetBlue flights as it expects the demand for non-alcoholic craft beer to be equally strong in the air as it is on the ground. The CEO and co-founder of Athletic Brewing, Bill Shufelt, stated the following concerning the inflight service,
"We're excited to take flight with JetBlue and allow flyers to relax at 35,000 feet with a great-tasting alternative to full-strength brews. This is a huge milestone for Athletic and a key partnership for us in the travel industry."
Representatives from JetBlue have shared that the new service is a part of the airline's goal to offer its customers premium beverage options aboard its flights. The Director of Product Development at JetBlue, Mariya Stoyanova, shared, "In our continued effort to provide customers with an onboard experience customized to their needs and preferences, JetBlue is proud to be the first major U.S. airline to serve non-alcoholic beer. "We're thrilled to partner with industry leader Athletic Brewing to offer our customers the refreshing, balanced taste of a classic craft Golden without the alcohol."
Unique beverage service
JetBlue has chosen Athletic Brewing Company's Upside Dawn Golden beverage as the first non-alcoholic beer it will serve in flight. The beer is made up of American and English hops and Vienna Malt.
According to the brewing company, it has been crafted to reduce gluten and calories. Each beer contains only 45 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates. Athletic Brewing claims it is the most highly-decorated non-alcoholic brewer in the world and that its flagship beverage, the Upside Dawn Golden beer, has received over 12 awards.
Athletic Brewing's beverages are fermented to less than 0.5% ABV. The company does this because 0.5% ABV is the legal limit for non-alcoholic beverages in the US. By doing so, it is able to make non-alcoholic beer without sacrificing taste or quality.
The announcement that JetBlue will begin serving non-alcoholic beer aboard its flights comes when incidents involving intoxicated passengers are at an all-time high. For years, the airline industry has seen a steady rise in unruly passengers. However, this number skyrocketed during the pandemic as many passengers refused to comply with travel regulations.
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