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What Is A Flight Of Beer?

Ahh, the flight of beer. A fan favorite among beer lovers everywhere. But what is a flight of beer, exactly?

Well, if you’re looking for the basics then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive in and discover just what a flight of beer is about.

Flight Of Beer History

Beer flights have their roots in ancient brewing processes, with many cultures around the world enjoying their own versions of what we now know as flights of beer.

The modern form of a flight has its origins in American craft breweries and taprooms in the late 20th century, where drinkers were presented with a variety of different beers from which to choose. Nowadays, flights of beer can be found in almost any bar or pub!

What Beers Are Included?

Most flights will feature four beers – usually around 4 ounces each – so that you can sample a variety without having to commit to an entire pint. They will typically include two light-bodied lagers or ales, one malty beer such as an amber ale or porter, and one dark/hoppy beer such as an Imperial IPA or stout.

However, there’s no hard and fast rule – flights can range from four lagers or ales all the way up to a dozen unique styles!

Benefits Of A Flight Of Beer

A flight of beer has many benefits over drinking just one pint:

  • Taste Variety – Sample several different beers so you can find the ones that really stand out for your palette.
  • Smaller Pours – Enjoy your favorite German weissbier without having to gulp down an entire pint!
  • Variety Within Styles – Many bars now offer “stylistically focused” flights featuring similar but distinct beers such as light or dark lagers or stouts, allowing for more nuanced comparisons between similar styles.
  • Share With Friends – No need for multiple pints; friends can sample each other’s drinks without having to commit to one particular style!
  • Budget Friendly – Flights are typically priced much lower than buying four separate pints.

Types Of Beer Flights

Beer flights come in all shapes and sizes:

  • By Brewery/Brewpub – Many establishments offer specific ‘house’ flights featuring all their own brews. This is an excellent way to compare house recipes over time and find your favorites!
  • By Region/Style/Theme – Another popular option are themes that popularize a particular region (e.g., California IPAs) or style (e.g., Belgian-style Witbiers). These give you great insight into how different breweries interpret similar recipes into unique flavors!
  • Customizable Flight Options – Some places offer customers the ability to customize their own flight by selecting from dozens of different styles on tap at any given time! Now that’s customization at its finest!

How To Serve A Flight Of Beer

Most places will serve up their beers on a tray; however, there are some other options:

  • Paddle Board – Some places use mini paddle boards which allow them to easily serve up several smaller glasses on one board – no trays necessary!
  • Coasters – Some bars may choose to provide coasters for each glass so customers can keep track of which drink was theirs without having to worry about mixing them up with others’ glasses at the end of their sampling session!

Popular Flight Serving Methods

There are several popular methods for serving up flights:

Arranged by ABV & Style

Many establishments organize their flights from lighter flavors (lowest ABV) up to richer & hoppier offerings (highest ABV). This allows for easy comparison between similar styles as well as exploring how ABV affects flavor profile overall!

Arranged by Price Point & Availability

Others will organize their offerings by price point and availability making it easier for customers who may be on specific budget constraints.

This also allows patrons with limited time constraints access quickly access options they may not normally have had access to since they don’t have enough time to sample everything offered on draft at once!


At the end of the day, a flight of beer is nothing more than taste exploration done right! Whether it’s sampling lighter ales first followed by hoppier stouts; comparing one brewery’s arrangement against another’s; or simply enjoying smaller pours rather than committing full pints.

These tastings provide great insight into new styles while providing just enough flavor exploration without getting overly full before moving onto something else altogether.

So next time you’re feeling adventurous head out for a proper flight and explore some new craft brews like never before – Cheers!

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, homebrewer and beer taster. I’m also the editor of Beer100. I love travelling the world and trying out new handcraft beer and different beer styles. I’m not an expert in brewing beer, but I know a few things about beer, which I share on this blog. If you need help or have a question, please comment below.

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