The Dutch airlines KLM have devised an innovative style of serving draught beer. They took the help of 3D printing to achieve this difficult feat. The draught beer system uses CO2 pressure to pour the beer from the tap consistently. Due to safety reasons, however, CO2 is not allowed on the planes. Therefore, there was extensive research by the companies in this field. KLM and Heineken jointly came up with a solution. KLM served the first Heineken draught beer from the tap, on its August 31st flight to Curaçao. They could do so by devising the BrewLock keg, which is a draught trolley that works even in the air. It utilises air pressure instead of CO2, to keep the beer flowing. Even in low-pressure cabin of flights, this keg smoothly pours out beer. 3D printing was used to design the various parts of the keg.
The taste of the Heineken beer is the same as that on earth level. The cooling too had to be tackled. The keg is pre-cooled before takeoff. It is then maintained in an insulating container to retain its low temperatures.
This Draught beer service is being hosted only by the KLM airlines, and will be served to business class flyers, in some of their flights. The costs involved in the 3d printing and serving the chilled beer is massive. Added to this expense is the cost of pressurising the air. Miriam Kartman, the Vice president of KLM’S in-flight services that they had partnered with Heineken since several years. A draught beer is always fresher and tastier than a can beer. KLM has introduced this special service as a novel offering to its business flyers. If this draught beer service is a hit, soon other airlines will follow suit. After all, what could be more refreshing than drinking sips of chilled draught beer while travelling?