Beers Take Flight

Innovation by | Mar 2015 | Issue #98

Photo by Melissa Engle Photography

No matter where beer has already taken you, the Craft Beer Flight Kit was created to be unlike any other journey. Designed by friends Ryan Sauder and Steve Denlinger, the kit is inspired by Advent calendars they made for friends in 2013, which were set up to reveal a beer a day for the 24 days before Christmas.

“We searched for an off-the-shelf product that would combine interactive and attractive packaging with the opportunity to interact via an online platform as our friends worked their way through the 24 beers,” Sauder says.

Finding nothing on the market that would work, the duo constructed packaging and set up a WordPress blog to announce each beer and share tasting notes and glassware recommendations.

During the process, an idea was born. Soon, the two men had developed an attractive box that features a lid with perforated and numbered squares. By tearing off square No. 1, a participant starts a journey through a series of 12 beers that remain hidden until each square is torn off. Affixed to the underside of square 1 is a code that unlocks access to that particular kit’s Flight Page on the company’s website. The custom website provides a forum for users to learn more, rate each beer and interact with the curator as well as others experiencing the same themed Flight Kit.

Primarily used by bottle shops that assemble special flights for customers, the empty kits are now available for individuals who want to design a flight for any occasion, whether it’s a countdown to a wedding day, graduation, or vacation. And, yes, the team is planning another 24-day Advent calendar for December 2015.

Buy a set of six for $60, browse retailers selling custom kits and test-drive a sample kit website by entering code CFB-LAUNCH at