Athletic Takes Flight

athletic brewing and jetblue logos.

How does an Upside Dawn among the clouds sound to you?

Athletic Brewing Co announced that they’re partnering with JetBlue to bring their non-alcoholic golden ale, Upside Dawn, to domestic flights later in May 2023. This will be the first non-alcoholic beer sold on any commercial airline, and marks another step in the proliferation and normalization of alcohol alternatives alongside alcoholic beverages.

“We’re excited to take flight with JetBlue and allow flyers to relax at 35,000 feet with a great-tasting alternative to full-strength brews,” Athletic Brewing co-founder & CEO Bill Shufelt said in a press release. “This is a huge milestone for Athletic and a key partnership for us in the travel industry.”

Athletic is the largest non-alcoholic craft beer brewer in the US, and Upside Dawn is one of their most popular brews. A crowd-pleasing golden ale, it opens on the nose with summery notes of chamomile and Ritz crackers. The palate is full of bread, splashed with a hint of citrus, and the finish is crisp with a pop of hop bitterness. You can read our full review of Upside Dawn here to hear all my thoughts on this beer and who it might appeal to.

From my perspective, it’s definitely the best beer from their portfolio to act as the single selection across all JetBlue flights. It’s also exciting to see non-alcoholic beer show up in more places, and it bodes well for the future of NA beverages on all airlines. Having another alcohol alternative option besides my usual Bloody Mary mix will make the drink cart run more interesting, and I hope to see other airlines and breweries take note and push their drinks into more spaces that lack alcohol-free options.