Beer flights: best trend ever?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by deleted_user_1074484, Jul 21, 2017.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Kb024

    Kb024 (0) Jun 11, 2015 California

    Same here... These posts are mind boggling... They are very angry at flights... I dont get it.
  2. Kb024

    Kb024 (0) Jun 11, 2015 California

    Im with u... I have no idea what is going on in this thread... Mind blown...
    zeff80 likes this.
  3. ingchr1

    ingchr1 (0) Jun 4, 2008 New York

    If the bar can't keep up then they either need to get more staff, get staff that can keep up or not serve flights. This is the bars problem, not the customer ordering something that the bar is offering.
    WesMantooth, Txex06, Squire and 2 others like this.
  4. Kb024

    Kb024 (0) Jun 11, 2015 California

    Boooo... Its not the flights fault that u drink and drive genius...
  5. bbtkd

    bbtkd (1,774) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    I don't, genius, that's the point.
  6. jeebeel

    jeebeel (443) Jun 17, 2003 Texas

    +1. And "best trend," when applied to beer, is an oxymoron.
    Premo88 and TongoRad like this.
  7. KindaFondaGoozah

    KindaFondaGoozah (0) Jan 1, 2013 Wisconsin

    And in the opposite corner, how many have finished a bomber and felt they didn't tease out every nuance :wink:.
  8. readyski

    readyski (534) Jun 4, 2005 California
    Society Trader

    Nothing against flights but won't do it because confusion of my senses.
    drtth likes this.
  9. Miles_in_beer_city

    Miles_in_beer_city (0) Jun 18, 2014 North Carolina

    Living in Asheville, I see a lot of people with flights that are clearly on a beercation. A couple of breweries don't offer flights and a few others don't offer them during their busy times.

    Most will give a 'taste' if you ask, and 3 is the typical limit on tastes before you need to order a beer.

    When we visit an out of town brewery, I like to get a flight, and have found some real gems that are typically not in my wheelhouse, and would have missed if I just ordered from the chalkboard.
  10. pjeagles

    pjeagles (404) May 29, 2005 New Mexico

    So it isn't possible for someone to get a good sense of a beer from a 4 oz. pour, but how many thousands and thousands of beers on this site are rated from similar sized pours that were served at fests or bottle shares???
    I like flights. On vacation where I'm hitting multiple breweries, it's the only way I'm still standing at the end of the day, plus I get to try as many beers as I wish.
    I know after two sips if I'm going to like a beer. You going to tell me you can't tell if you like a soup after two spoonfulls?
    WesMantooth, gonza559 and Squire like this.
  11. drtth

    drtth (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    The fact that a number of folks ignore the request of the site founders to not review/rate from small samples or flights doesn't make it a good idea.

    You may know after 2 sips you'd like more, or not, but that doesn't tell you much at all about the beer (or soup) as the aromas and flavors can change with having more of it, or with the effects of having sampled other beers and/or foods before you take those two sips.
    #91 drtth, Jul 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2017
  12. drtth

    drtth (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I must confess that I've been seeing flights using small serving sample glasses easily available for 10 years or more I find it hard to think of them as a trend or as anything particularly new.
  13. pjeagles

    pjeagles (404) May 29, 2005 New Mexico

    I absolutely agree with you about effects from sampling other beers, specifically having multiples of the same style of beer. How about this: bars should offer half pours, and I can judge soup as long as I only have one soup.
  14. Burt

    Burt (0) Nov 27, 2005 Rhode Island

    Flights are like tapas for me. Instead of ordering 1 meal you can try a little of everything but still enjoy it. I rarely order full pours if they offer flights or half pours.
    utopiajane likes this.
  15. drtth

    drtth (0) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    If we refer back to my first post in this thread as part of this, you and I are in agreement that flights can have a useful role when visiting one or more breweries for the first time or in deciding what single beer to have more of or to get an overall impression of what kind of an overall job the brewer is doing in producing good beer.

    Having spent a fair amount of beer drinking time in the the U.K. where half pours are common but flights are not, I say the half pour also has its place and usefulness.

    They all can have their time and place, and it's good when people recognize that but also pay attention to the impact those choices might have on others. I'll freely order a flight when I want to compare two or more beer side by side but usually only as part of table service in general where I know I'll be able to give each of those sample a a reasonable degree of attention.
  16. Crim122

    Crim122 (0) Aug 4, 2014 North Carolina

    I used to get flights at every new brewery I went to, I’ve stopped doing that. I generally just check BA to see what their best beer might be and go for one of those.
    drtth likes this.
  17. Ranbot

    Ranbot (565) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Personally I like flights at breweries [not so much at beer bars]. I know won't get every flavor nuance from a sampler like drinking a full pint, but it's certainly enough for me get a general idea of the beer. The next round(s) will be a full pour of whatever interested me the most in the flight where I will get to know the beer better.

    There's also plenty of craft beer out there with odd ingredients that want to try for the sake of curiosity, without suffering through a pint. Yeah, I could just ask for a free sample, but I don't mind paying for a sample; and if folks are legitimately concerned about the time it takes for the bartender to pour a sampler flight, then it doesn't seem any more appropriate to ask for a free sample(s).

    Certainly that's a justifiable approach, but keep in mind if you use this site's numerical scores to limit what you even try, then you are making yourself very susceptible to this community's bias (group-think).
    PA-Michigander, Chipotle and meefmoff like this.
  18. meefmoff

    meefmoff (0) Jul 6, 2014 Massachusetts

    "How about that honey?! This brewery's best beers are also a DIPA and a barrel aged stout. What are the odds?"

  19. Txex06

    Txex06 (542) Dec 28, 2016 Texas

    I order them when I go to new breweries and don't want waste my cash on a full pour of a beer that I might end up disliking. If I enjoy a beer from a flight then I'll order a full pour and dive deep into the complexities of it. :rolling_eyes: Last year I ordered a flight from Twisted-X outside of Austin and hated every damn beer, even the IPA and stout. Haven't bought single beer from them since.
    HoppingMadMonk and VABA like this.
  20. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson (1,068) Mar 12, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    First off, calling flights a trend seems a little odd, haven't they been a mainstay at breweries in America more or less the entire time of the craft beer revolution? They are also a great way to get a sense for a breweries style and standards. And as others have said, a great way to try some of the more adventurous flavors people are putting out these days or just sample styles you are not as familiar with. The flight hatred is definitely suprising to me, slow service is a problem of understaffing/poor staff or an inefficient work space design.

    That said, I don't understand the people who always get flights, trying 12 beers everytime they go to a brewery. It has it's place but it is an odd way to drink as a go to.
  21. MerryTapster

    MerryTapster (0) Mar 6, 2010 Pennsylvania

    I own a taproom that has 25 draft offerings. Flights are great if your a beginner and want to discorver what you like. They are a royal pain in you are the bartender or as we refer to our peeps, beertender.

    All in all when I first started off on craft beer, I loved flights. No I find that they jack my palette all up. I tend to stick to similar styles when out and about drinking craft and honestly after about a good 12-13 years at it, I know what I'm in the mood for.
    cavedave likes this.
  22. CanesHeatFins305

    CanesHeatFins305 (0) Nov 25, 2014 Florida

    Love flights at a brewery. LOL at the absurd levels of snobbery where flights are hated and looked down upon.
  23. Tamarack

    Tamarack (0) Sep 22, 2016 Massachusetts

    Flights encourage tasting beer, as opposed to drinking it. I think they're foolish but I'm not against them, per se.
    TongoRad likes this.
  24. LambicPentameter

    LambicPentameter (0) Aug 29, 2012 Nebraska

    I was a lot more likely to order a flight several years ago with the Tick was strong with me. As I've expanded my palate and become more tuned into my personal preferences, I do it far less. In fact, I'm not sure I can remember the last time I ordered a flight.

    Nowadays, I'm more likely to order a glass of something that sounds good then order a taster of something that I'm intrigued to try, but maybe don't want to bite on a full pour.

    The exceptions to the rule are if 1) I'm at a brewery for the first time that I'm unlikely to be back to anytime soon, 2) I see several things on the menu that look really good and want to help decide on what to get in a full pour, or 3) there is some kind of tap takeover going on where what I want to try will likely be gone if I wait until after consuming a full pour.

    So on the question of doing away with flights or singing their praises, I'm firmly in the camp of "neither". They are a thing that have their situational uses.
    Ranbot likes this.
  25. captaincoffee

    captaincoffee (0) Jul 10, 2011 Virginia
    Society Trader

    Big difference (at least for me) between a craft beer bar and a new brewery. I wouldn't order a flight at a craft beer bar...I honestly didn't even know that was a thing. But I also visit a ton of breweries during my travels...most of which I'll probably never have a chance to visit again. I almost always order a flight there. Otherwise, I'd never get to try more than one or two of that brewery's offerings.
    meefmoff and nc41 like this.
  26. Dweedlebug

    Dweedlebug (0) Feb 28, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I guess they're all well and good but I've never ordered one and probably never would, but that's no reason to get rid of them.
  27. Ranbot

    Ranbot (565) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    On the other hand, if you didn't offer sample flights more customers would probably ask for free samples and [because the customer is always right :rolling_eyes: (sarcasm)] your bartenders will still be running small pours around, but with nothing to show for the effort on the final check their tip is calculated from, or the bar owner's (your) income.
    meefmoff likes this.
  28. bubseymour

    bubseymour (1,264) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
    Society Trader

    From my experiences, big malty high ABV beers (stouts, BWs, Old Ales quads etc), I usually can get the equivalent experience from a 4oz glass as a full pour from a tulip, pint glass etc. Lighter beers, like most lagers, kettle sours, wild ales, IPAs etc. I don't quite get the full beer drinking experience from a small pour flight sampler. With that said it doesn't stop me.

    Now Crowlers are truely one of the best new trends ever IMO.
  29. ingchr1

    ingchr1 (0) Jun 4, 2008 New York

    Not a fan of the crowler myself. Can't reseal it (well 99% of them) and they cost more (there is typically an additional charge for the can itself). I'm perfectly happy with 32oz glass.

    But this deserves a thread of its own.
  30. InVinoVeritas

    InVinoVeritas (0) Apr 16, 2012 Wisconsin

    Not from the servers perspective; they are a PITA, most of all when busy. Tip your bartender, unless you think $2 and change an hour is sustainable.
  31. pjeagles

    pjeagles (404) May 29, 2005 New Mexico

    Don't know many craft beer bars that offer flights. Neighborhood in San Diego and West 4th Jane in Santa Monica are two that I can think of.

    Let's say you (me) have one night in San Francisco. I'm, after all these years, still a relative lightweight. I had one night in San Fran, hit up Beer Revolution in Oakland and Cellarmaker. Cellamaker does small pours, so was able to get Double Dobis, etc. Beer Revolution had their usual stellar list. I wanted to get Modern Times Centaur Gardens, the two Fieldwork DIPAs, Alvarado St, and a BA Stout, but full pours would have been too much. Availability of a flight would have been helpful in this situation.
  32. bbtkd

    bbtkd (1,774) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    My go-to taproom doesn't do them that I've ever seen, and I suspect that if you asked for a flight they'd tell you to go to the airport.
    TongoRad likes this.
  33. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth (1,418) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Society Trader

    To each his/her own, but I couldn't disagree more. With so many new breweries/brew pubs opening these days there are way too many of them that are just trying to cash in on the boom and clearly have no business making, or at least selling beer. I stopped at one place in Canton last year and did a flight of 4 4oz pours. In this particular case, I didn't even find one that was worhty of a full pint. I ate my pizza and left. In fact, I didn't finish 2 of the 4, and 1oz was more than enough of the one.
    I have no problem ordering blindly from established, well respected breweries, but even at a place like Fat Heads or Jackie O's around here, I will get a flight to decide which new beer I want to add to my other 2 or 3 full ones.
    Life's too short to drink bad beer. Especially with so much great beer available.
    Shanex likes this.
  34. WesMantooth

    WesMantooth (1,418) Jan 8, 2014 Ohio
    Society Trader

    You stated you were already being serious.

    I took it like Francis, that your money and time is worth more than some people
  35. Crim122

    Crim122 (0) Aug 4, 2014 North Carolina

    Yeah. I was at a brewery last night and thought of this thread. Line was pretty long. Only two people behind the bar and more than half of the customers were getting flights. As someone who knew what I wanted, and had to wait nearly 10 minutes in line to order...that sucked.
  36. SteveSexton203

    SteveSexton203 (0) Feb 19, 2014 Connecticut

    IMO beer flights are the worst. Most flights only give you very few ounces of each beer. The amount of beer given isnt enough to really try a beer and really know its good. Me i would prefer fewer beers more ounces of each. Like a flight with 4 beers 4-6oz of each beer. (only say the difference in ounces depending on ABV and style)
  37. Squire

    Squire (0) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    Aye Aye and amen. I view flights generally as a tasting rather than a drinking experience.
    WesMantooth likes this.
  38. NickTheGreat

    NickTheGreat (664) Oct 28, 2010 Iowa

    I absolutely LOVE flights. In fact, flights are kinda what drug me into "craft beer," for lack of a better term.

    In the past, you'd just drink a bunch of Bud Light, just because. But now there are tastier beers to drink. And you kinda want to try them all. Flights make that doable.

    I almost always get flights when I'm at a new brewery. Probably not after that first time, but I wouldn't rule it out. :slight_smile:
    Squire likes this.
  39. cavedave

    cavedave (1,206) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Society Trader

    I would like to point out that hating the idea of flights for all the reasons pointed out in this thread is not snobbery. Snobbery is the characterization of people as bad for the things they do. I don't think anyone called the folks who ordered flights any names.

    Hating the amount of time we have to wait, and the poor decisions of breweries to offer them at times when it causes this kind of backup, isn't snobbery. Wishing breweries had separate areas or lines for folks who want to order flights so they don't make others wait isn't snobbery. Thinking that half pours are better ways to try multiple beers than flights isn't snobbery.

    Calling folks who think flights are bad snobs, however, is definitely snobbery.
    BBThunderbolt, VABA and WesMantooth like this.
  40. IBUBrew

    IBUBrew (0) May 6, 2017 Vermont

    Exactly! Having experience pouring in a busy brewery it can be a pain in the ass to get a ticket for five flights when you are already several tickets deep, but it just means more money is coming my way.

    To the original question, flights are typically the best option for trying multiple beers at a new place. Long live the flight.
    Squire likes this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.