To the Skies We Go!

Craft beer, long ago once found only at specialty wine shops, natural food stores and beer geek pubs, has found its way into just about every retail outlet. Even the “C” stores. And perhaps one of the biggest retail barriers to fall in recent years is the major sports stadiums – once the sole domain of the major brewers and importers.

But now even major commercial airlines have embraced craft beer. There have been a few spotty sightings of craft beer over the years. With the profusion of craft beer in cans, it makes the choice much easier for airlines. And now, the tipping point seems to have arrived.

Southwest Airlines began selling cans of New Belgium Brewing Co.’s Fat Tire on its nearly 700 Southwest and AirTran planes earlier this year. Cans of Sam Adams joined the mile-high club with JetBlue over the summer, Alaska Airlines and its sister carrier Horizon Air offer brews from the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii, and last month regional carrier Sun Country partnered with Minneapolis’ Surly Brewing Co. to sell craft beer from its home base.

The friendly skies are getting much more friendly.