The ‘Dry January’ movement is a regular fixture now. There is also a Veganuary campaign that is gaining ground. Combine these with a return to work, cold weather and dark evenings and it’s no wonder people look so miserable in January!
It was during several long-haul flights in November/December last year when I started to look for non-alcoholic beer, both in the lounge and on-board. My flights were with British Airways and I wasn’t able to find anything. I don’t like most popular fizzy beverages, so my choices were water, tea and a virgin Mary! This did at least improve my enjoyment of a glass of red wine during the meal service.
I was quite surprised – airlines often complain about passenger behaviour resulting from an over-consumption of alcohol. The medical profession also advise that alcohol consumption should be reduced when flying.
I’m not suggesting that alcohol be banned while travelling, just that non-alcoholic beer and perhaps some non- or low-alcohol alternatives be available.
I decided to write to the media contacts of all the major airlines and ask what they offer/plan to offer. It’s only been a few days, but here are the responses so far:
French Gastronomy is in our Airline DNA and our beverages offer try to be large for all the customers in all the classes, for every taste with non-alcoholic drinks, wine & champagne.
We already work to boost the ‘moktails’ offer & ‘detox bar”’in partnership with ‘le palais des thés’ in the lounges.
Air France sent their entire menu for all classes. There were fruit juices but there wasn’t any non-alcoholic beer available.
We currently don’t serve a non-alcoholic beer onboard. Onboard customers can order from the following:
AA sent their drinks menu.
We offer non-alcoholic ‘Schlossgold’ beer on board and ‘Null Komma Josef’ beer, brewed by Okttakringer, in our lounges at Vienna airport.
We do offer non-alcoholic beer in the Delta Sky Clubs and have for a number of years. We do not offer non-alcoholic beer onboard, but have many non-alcoholic beverage options.
Please find a copy of our inflight magazine here – https://assets.ryanair.com/resources/ui/inflightmagazines/winter2018_v2/magazine.pdf which includes our inflight menu featuring Heineken 0.0 Non-Alcoholic Beer.
Hi, we have non alcohol beer available on our long haul flights and in our lounges @HelsinkiAirport. Also wine and sparkling available for preorder purchase.
At SAS you can enjoy our appreciated Mikkeler http://mikkeller.dk/brewery/ non-alcoholic beer on both our Domestic and Intercontinental flights.
We’re actually launching Becks Blue non-alcoholic beer in the next month or so. It will be onboard in all cabins.
Virgin also produced a press release timed to coincide with ‘Dry January’:
Virgin Atlantic launches no- and low-alcohol cocktail menu
Virgin Atlantic has launched a new ‘Nolo’ drinks menu for those looking to enjoy no and low-alcohol cocktails inflight.
Virgin has partnered with non-alcoholic spirits brand Seedlip, and Australian “quaffing vermouth” Regal Rogue to create four no and low-alcohol cocktail choices
Commenting on the move, Virgin Atlantic’s food and beverage manager Mark Murphy said: “With the global trend of no and low alcohol cocktails, Seedlip and Regal Rogue are the perfect partners to bring this option to our customers. There’s a big focus across the airline industry on reducing the amount of alcohol consumed in flight, and we’re delighted to be leading the way by offering our customers across all cabins a selection of zero and low alcohol alternatives.”
ED: I also notice that the founder of Seedlip is called Ben Branson – apparently no relation to Richard Branson!
I also asked the regular travellers over at Business Traveller for their experiences. The forum thread is here: https://www.businesstraveller.com/forums/topic/alcohol-free-and-low-alcohol-options-when-flying/ and what I’ve found so far is:
openfly wrote: I’ve been begging BA for years for Zero beer, but nobody listens. BUT, for the last three years, all Iberia services and lounges have Zero beer available. Also, Qatar have a very expensive Zero champagne in business and First. The same is available in Harrods at a horrendous £35!
ED: The zero sparkling wine is called ‘So Jennie’.
I’ll update the list as more replies arrive.