From the people that brought you Nintendo, Hello Kitty, Cup O'Noodles and Godzilla:
(from Esquire.com) Finally, the prayers of business-traveling beer lovers have been answered: Japan's All Nippon Airlines announced last week that it has developed Planet Earth's first in-flight beer dispenser. That's right: brew that's both on tap and onboard. For now, though, kegs on a plane are only available for domestic flights in Japan — in fact, none of the ANA flights featuring the service last more than two-and-a-half hours. Which is a good thing: the keg's capacity is just twenty cups.
But at least it works.
Thirsty passengers have been subjected to canned beer with their gourmet for so long because of problems having to do with air pressure. In case you've never barbacked or, you know, barbecued, the space in kegs that isn't filled with beer contains carbon dioxide — and high-pressure cylinders of gas aren't exactly allowed on passenger planes. But ANA shared its solution with Eat Like a Man on Tuesday afternoon, and, well, someone should have thought of this sooner: dry ice. The airline stores frozen CO2 in a low-pressure container, and as it sublimates — changing states from solid to gas — the hissy stuff gets sent to the container of beer, forcing it out the tap. Added bonus: using dry ice means the "epochal dispenser system" doesn't have to be refrigerated while in the air. (ANA also claims it can "make adjustments to the gas pressure to assure great tasting draft beer," which would make pressing that flight-attendant button a lot more useful — and a lot less demoralizing — if it were actually true.)
No word yet on what the beers offered will be, but for one thousand yen (about $11) a cup, it had better be good. While we're dealing with the alternative — a nice, warm can of the domestic stuff — we'll stick with a cocktail, thank you very much.