Archive for June 2nd, 2008

The mainstream media have a tendency to focus on the Big Issues. The survival of the planet or the Lisbon Treaty or whatever. This means that they rarely have room to champion the small causes. But, luckily, the Times Online has asked one of the important small questions of our time:

Why is beer on planes always warm?

Four long-haul flights in two weeks, two different airlines, same problem: warm beer. What’s that all about? Come on, guys, raise your game. It’s minus 60 out there, so what’s with this tepid froth inside?

For people who have created the technology to propel 300 passengers through the air inside an aluminium cigar tube, it surely cannot be beyond the limits of wit and ingenuity to devise some method of harnessing the cold outside the aircraft to chill the beer inside. What about a little trailer, towed along behind and winched in when required? Or a big fridge, bolted on to the fuselage and accessed via a door inside the cabin?

Ross Anderson is the man who has the courage to ask. Tonight we raise our (warm) beer glasses to Ross.

There are more questions to be raised, including why Lufthansa is dragging along Warsteiner in glass bottles on all their flights. I see there is an argument in favour of glass bottles with deposits, but to lift the glass above the clouds seems to me rather stupid a result of not being able to keep two thoughts in your head at the same time.

In the photo there is a decent can of Ottakringer Helles on an Austrian airlines flight. Pity about the sorry excuse for a meal that came with it.



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