Southwest Airlines just got even friendlier with craft brew service

Not just a great view, but a great brew too.
(Julie Verive)

Craft beer fans should dust off their Southwest free-drink coupons: The airline has announced a partnership with New Belgium Brewing that means craft beer will finally be available at 30,000 feet.

The Colorado brewery’s flagship Fat Tire will join the usual macro-brewed subjects like Miller Lite and Heineken as the only craft-brewed option the airline offers. Fat Tire — known for its success as a “gateway” beer for those new to craft brews — is one of the most popular craft brands in the country, and the malty amber ale is now available on all Southwest Airlines and AirTran flights.

Blow all your free-drink vouchers on tiny bottles of Wild Turkey? The cans of Fat Tire will set you back just $5 — the same as the insipid light lagers that Southwest has offered for years.

Recent months have seen more craft brews being offered at airports, with locally brewed craft beers available at LAX, and Stone Brewing opening a bar in the San Diego International Airport.


Hopefully this is just the beginning for craft beer in the friendly skies. Asked if there will be more craft brewed offerings in the future, a Southwest spokesperson responded with this canned but encouraging statement: “Southwest and AirTran continually looks for opportunities to refresh and add variety to its onboard offerings to meet its customers.”

You have a choice when you fly, and now you can choose craft beer if you’re flying Southwest.


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