Wanna be first to experience FliteBrite? We invite you to head to Exile Brewing in downtown Des Moines, Iowa! RJ Tursi and Exile Brewing Company have been an ally from Day 1 and if you remember, we actually collaborated with their team for quantifing smart beer flights in a 2016 research project. As one of the leaders within the Iowa craft beer community and with around 15 craft beers on tap, this is a perfect place to begin the next chapter of our story.
We were planning to ship trial paddles throughout the country after our CBC 17 adventure, but due to a few tricky product issues, we were forced to pull them back into the workshop. For all you brewery and restaurant owners who are excited to get your electronic beer flight paddles, know this is a big step in the right direction and we’re committed to delivering a durable product on our mission to unlock a more engaging flight experience nationwide.
These electronic beer flight paddles have been thoughtfully designed and meticulously manufactured to look amazing, be cost effective and super durable.
The sleek look paired with our interactive color touchscreen allows you to showcase your craft beer in a whole new way! You can order your fleet now or apply for our free trial program. In the meantime, here’s a quick look at how the world’s first smart flights have evolved.
We began with a clear paddle that was a beer nerd’s dream.
This fully-functioning prototype introduced the world to smart flights, affirmed our vision of a more engaging customer experience and turned out to be perfect for showcasing the wi-fi enabled technology built inside the paddle. This clear prototype taught us what customers wanted. It also confirmed what brewery and restaurant owners had to have. It would even be used in the wild as we conducted research to quantify smart beer flights.
As cool as it looked, this clear paddle was not made to hold up in the harsh environment behind the bar. It was also not designed for true manufacturing. As our electronic technology evolved, we continued to refine what the future of beer flights would look like, how it would feel and how the entire experience would flow.
This bold new embodiment that we’re formally unveiling here, is the result of countless hours talking with industry experts, listening to customers, learning from mistakes and passionately polishing our innovative platform overall. These matte black paddles are built to serve a more engaging beer tasting experience, while providing the most brand-boosting way to serve fractional pours. Welcome to the future of beer flights!
The four pockets are carved out to allow a wide variety of flight glasses to pass through (2.025″ diameter) and evenly catch each glass when the paddle is lifted up. This lightens the paddle and eliminates craters that collect stale beer and even mold.
Centered between the four pockets, we’ve dedicated a space just for you! Working together, we’ll provide a sexy little icon sticker to showcase your brand in a big way.
Overall, this 2×2 layout provides a more stable feel by ergonomically distributing the weight of full flight glasses closer to your hand. It is also thoughtfully paired with the 2×2 layout of the color touchscreen built into the handle. Fastened your seat belts. This is where things get super exciting.
Our patented touchscreen technology provides a balanced experience right out of the box and truly brings FliteBrite to life. At first glance, you’ll realize it’s not your smartphone, but once you begin clicking around, you’ll realize it doesn’t matter. We’ve utilized a lower resolution display to make our product affordable, but with intuitive design, we’ve implemented fast-loading graphics and accurate information that’s fun and easy to understand for anyone.
One of the best features of our interactive touchscreen, is the ability to update it over the air, right from your online dashboard! This allows us to continuously enhance the touchscreen, while ensuring you always have the most up-to-date experience.
We’ll hold off on sharing too many details on the online dashboard, but know it’s what puts the “smart” into smart flights as it manages all your smart paddles, magically updates your menu with single clicks, builds social media campaigns and tracks some crazy cool analytics.
You’ll be blown away with how much your customers enjoy the smart flight experience.
FliteBrite’s smart beer flights fuel the virality of what people naturally enjoy sharing by tapping into accurate details for each brew and giving your customers a fun way to share, track and even rate the beers they love. By connecting with a more informed customer, you can increase loyalty and boost engagement that will positively expand your brand.
We have poured our hearts into building this product and we’re so proud to share that starting today, our matte black paddles are ready to ship nationwide!
Contact Us to learn how easy it is to serve the best beer flight in town!
I’m a guy, so this is not something that I learned easily, but my wife has taught me the value of a great presentation. Whether it’s a cheese plate that looks straight out of a magazine, the perfect steak plated up like a boss, or how you serve beer flights at your brewery, restaurant or even at your home bar, a little extra effort can go a long ways!
No matter the craft beer experience you’re serving, the initial presentation you deliver will determine one of your customer’s first responses. Make it a good one.
How you introduce your product completes the life cycle of a process you pour your heart into. You wouldn’t grill a perfect steak and then serve it on paper plate, right? Why would you create, buy or sell an amazing craft beer, just to hand it over on a piece of wet paper and hope that your part-time bartender scribbles the right name of something you care so much about?
Even if it’s not smart flights yet, we still hope you take pride in the way you present your beer flights! Everyone has great ideas on how to make it fun and we also thought we’d share a few quick things to remember:
When you serve four 5oz glasses of brew, that’s just under two full glasses of beer, with added variety and a little extra time to prepare. That’s worth more than some folks realize. Flights are a perfect doormat into your beers, so there’s value in a less expensive flight, but through years of research, we’ve learned the national average for a flight of four, is between $8-$12.
Smart flights are what we do at FliteBrite and the era of a more engaging beer flight is now. Shoot us a quick email and we’ll hook you up with a free trial paddle!
Yes, if your beer flight glasses are custom and cool, some will get stolen. The thing is, we can make these very inexpensive so you can just consider it swag marketing for your customers to enjoy your sweet looking beer flight glass at home. We can even help design your flight glassware to look perfect in your flight paddles.
It can be a nice conversation starter when you know a little extra about each brew. Pair your beer with intention and offer fun facts as you deliver the beer flight. Where it’s made, hop selection and other interesting ingredients are a great place to start.
You already know serving beer samples can take a bit of extra time, but if you and your team spend the time to serve beer flights wisely, you can easily boost your customer’s experience while adding a valuable revenue channel into your overall menu. Along with the fun of showcasing a well-paired beer flight and inspiring more informed customers, you’re making money on fractional pours and it creates a great environment for all to enjoy.
Think how much time you put into making your beers and building your brand. We know you take pride in every aspect of your craft, so complete your taproom experience and make people remember you by serving a beer flight that looks so amazing that everyone will want to order your beer flight experience again and again!
If you’re looking for ideas to make your beer flight truly stand out, we can help. Let’s bring your first 10 smart beer flights online and make your brewery or restaurant the talk of the town this year!
The craft beer industry has evolved and so has the way we enjoy our favorite beers. Let’s turn back the hands of time to discover how beer flights have evolved.
Alright, we’re not going to rewind to the beginning of time, but back in the 1800’s, everyone in the United States basically brewed their own beer. Made of really only water, barley, hops and yeast, beer has always been easy to come by. Even with early homebrewers and numerous breweries throughout the United States, a less connected world, poor distribution methods and the lack of technology kept beer primitive and limited an individual’s access to what we consider a beer flight. Our beer-loving ancestors surely enjoyed some form of beer tastings before the days of prohibition, but let’s be honest, it was probably warm beer and served by guys like this, haha!
Prohibition ended in 1933 and macrobreweries ruled the world until around 1980. Beer in the United States was predominantly light lagers and only produced by a handful of these large breweries. In fact, by the end of 1980, there were less than 100 breweries and industry experts predicted there would only be five brewing companies in the United States. Sadly, without any meaningful variety during this dark age of beer, there was still no need for beer flights.
Homebrewers inspired the modern craft beer industry. In fact, even today, many head brewmasters learn their craft from small batch experimentation. With homebrewing naturally leading to an increase in more diverse beers, more variety of beers began to surface. This led to a true renaissance within the craft beer industry between 1980 and 2000. According to the Brewers Association, the number of craft brewers in the United States went from eight in 1980, to 284 in 1990, and would push past 1,500 craft breweries by the year 2000!
Although the expanding craft beer industry was still dominated by macrobreweries, the modern beer flight emerged during this age of exploration. Consumers were being offered more beer choices from local breweries, which created an organic desire to sample craft beers together.
It took around 10 more years for craft beer to become truly mainstream, but by 2011, the United State surpasses 2,000 breweries and that’s when things really started to take off. Only two years later, that US brewery count would expand to over 3,000 and in 2016, it has boiled up to over 4,000 craft breweries nationwide with no signs of slowing down.
As the expansion of craft beer has evolved, so has the progression of beer itself. With what seems like a limitless combination of styles, flavors, colors and taste, the growing craft brew industry has naturally fueled consumer’s interest in beer flights. Whether it’s to sample all that a brewmaster has to offer or tapping into the simple joy of pairing craft beers together, the beer flight has become a key offering in taprooms, brewpubs, microbreweries and restaurants.
Even with the rise in beer flight popularity, the method for serving these tasty samplers have remained archaic. Yes, wooden paddles or metal holders still look cool and allow safe beer flight transportation, but how are customers able to identify which beer is which? Wet receipts, handwritten scribbles and messy chalkboards do allow us to share beer titles, but even if accurate beer information is present, there’s so much more to craft beers and perhaps more importantly, the customer connection is immediately cut the moment they leave! In a time where everything is connected and a world of information is at everyone’s fingertips, have we not come to expect more from our beer flight paddles?
We live in a connected era. The Internet has brought us all together and The Internet of Things has us connected to the things we love. Whether it’s how you call for a safe ride home or the smart home itself, your smartphone connects you to what’s important in life. We love great beer, right? Well isn’t it time the beer flight evolved to be more intelligent too?
Smart beer flight paddles are the future and you’re in the right place, because the future is now with FliteBrite. Brewery owners, taproom managers and restaurant professionals now have the ability to showcase accurate beer flight details while connecting with more engaged, tech savvy, craft beer loving customers. Interactive touchscreens, wireless technology and supporting mobile apps are unlocking a new era of smart beer flights.
The value of serving brighter beer flights does not end with just a boost in educational entertainment at craft breweries, brewpubs and restaurants. The Big Data behind each beer flight also allows owners to track meaningful analytics behind their beer flight activity and perhaps most important of all, become more connected with happy customers long after they return the beer paddles.
The beer nerds at FliteBrite invite you to the future of beer flights.
Let’s talk about bringing smart beer paddles your way this week.
With craft beer everywhere, more breweries, restaurants and bars are serving a wider variety of beers on tap. Some have more beer taps than others, but when establishments cater to their thirsty customer’s desire with an expanded variety of craft beers, they often experience a boost in customer engagement, increased loyalty and in the end, an opportunity to sell more beer.
Whether an establishment offers 10 or 100+ beers on tap, showcasing the assortment of brews on tap is key. Beer flights are the best way to do this, so let’s consider the value of beer flights.
Does your brewery team have a taproom serving your own craft brews? Perhaps you’re a restaurant or bar serving the latest favorites from breweries nationwide? Either way, it’s fun offering people great new beers to try. This keeps your establishment fresh and introducing new craft beers to friends is fun! If you’re the one their buying beer flights from, even better, eh! Beer flights offer the interactive activity of featuring more beers all at once. The smaller flight quantity is usually around two full pint glasses worth of beer, so it’s not overwhelming for newcomers, while still providing enough awesome beer (and a more enjoyable beer tasting experience) to beer-loving enthusiasts.
Whether it’s the newcomer casually enjoying the beer tasting or people who are ready to check-in their next favorite beer on an app like Untappd, part of the fun people have with beer flights is the opportunity to learn a little about something they enjoy. Craft beer is now just as sophisticated as wine and we have connoisseurs who love the craft beer community a lot. It’s a fun place to be and entertaining to say the least. Providing a great time and now a new way to entertain patrons with an interactive, almost gamified beer flight experience.
SIDE NOTE: This story is written as general industry insight, but we have found FliteBrite, so let’s just be honest. People will love you for bringing our smart flights to your brewery, restaurant or bar. Our entertaining and super functional flight paddles will make you the talk of the town!
Contact us to hook up an easy one-year lease that has no upfront costs and is less than the price of a pint or two per month! Learn more at www.FliteBrite.com/pre-order.
You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy beer. Like anything, when a group of people enjoy a common thing together, community is formed. Within any community, folks often enjoy knowing more about what other community members enjoy. This builds “social currency” and makes you more interesting. In this case, it’s the expanding craft beer community. This craft beer community is made of fun, friendly, smart and collaborative people who like tasting a variety of beers, tasting how styles compare and even learning how craft beer is made. Being an enthusiast about anything is one of life’s simple gifts. Like any knowledge, many folks are most interested in interesting, helpful and resource-saving tips. Why share all this philosophical mojo? Smart beer flights fuel a more informed beer enthusiast. Newcomers will begin getting more interested, The casual enthusiast starts tracking their favorites and the beer experts continue to lead the way. At all levels of engagement, customers will convert to friendly fans who come to your place for the best beer flight. This results in more sales. Do you like making more money? Supporting all levels of beer enthusiasm can be great for any sized brewery or restaurant. Think of serving beer flights like a simple and fun way to tighten the craft beer-loving tribe worldwide.
Time and money are required to keep anyone’s doors open in the food and beverage industry. Owners keep an eye on the budget and every dollar counts. One of the most obvious values of beer flights is that they add another level to your menu and are so easy to implement. If you have beer on tap, all you need to get started is a small collection of beer flight glasses, a quick add in your POS system and a way to serve the beer flights to customers. Beer flights can vary in price points, but most four-glass beer flights range between $10-$20. Yes, it takes a few more seconds to pour a flight compared to one pint glass, but doesn’t an added revenue source that leads to more beer pints a easy way to provide more options and make more sales.
The flip side of the coin is if you’re not currently serving beer flights. If a customer visits your bar and isn’t quite sure on what they want, many times the friendly bartender offers free sample tastings. This is how it should be done and we’re not talking about much, but at the core, this is lost beer. As we all know, sometimes it may take a few more free samples until the customer selects a full glass! To reduce free samples while still being awesome with costumers, introduce the beer flight as your offering the first free sample. This will encourage the customer to either choose a full glass or go straight into a more involved and revenue-generating flight.
When you consider the resources required to build a brewery or restaurant, time can be one of the most fundamentally valuable assets you need. Money supports what you want to spend your time on and anyone in the industry knows that the passion required for building any business takes passion and an unmatched time commitment. If your entire team is properly efficient, the more time you’re selling product, the more revenue is made on a daily basis. More revenue gives your business options, so even if it’s the time your bartenders are spending serving each order, time is money and saving it is sweet. Think about the time you’ll save when you start serving smart beer flights with FliteBrite. People can engage more with the beer and your establishment even when you’re not around. You can also avoid wasting time when your staff waits on indecisive customers who aren’t quite ready to commit to a full glass. Serve a quick beer flight and you’ll convert time-wasting “ummmmmms” into a quick opportunity to pitch the smart beer flight that will lead to favorites and a more confident order. Efficiency improves and the enlightened customer loves you for serving them options that lead to a great beer they’ll love you for.
The value of beer flights is clear. If you’re the investor type, we’d call this a beer flight’s valuation. Beer flights provide a more diverse way of featuring great beers while engaging more enthusiast customers. If you plug into FliteBrite’s electronic serving system, your smart beer flights will unlock a new level of entertaining, educating, revenue-boosting and time-saving ways to serve the most exciting beer flights around. Let’s do this.
Let’s begin by noting there is no absolute correct way to enjoy a craft beer flight, haha! With that disclaimer outta the way, let’s look at a few fun ways to mix things up.
One of the most iconic ways to enjoy a beer flight is by pairing beers in a way that has their colors going from light to dark. Similar to wine flights, this can be a good way to start with a nice light taste and work towards something a bit more complex. If flights are served in the taproom or restaurant, ask your friendly bartender to whip up a beer flight based on color to enjoy a great overall variety of craft beer.
Perhaps it’s a flight of only light, fresh beers on a hot summer day? Maybe it’s a collection of brown and amber ales for the Fall or even dark stouts and porters when the snow flies. Creating a beer flight made up of only your favorite style or type of beer can be a great time and fun to share with friends. You may also consider trying a beer flight of the most hoppy brews on tap. If this is something you wanna try, look for high IBU levels of somewhere around 40+ IBUs and enjoy the different scents of fresh hops.
We have craft beers for any occasion. Mixing up some seasonal beers into a flight creates a fun way to celebrate the season with family and friends. Anyone do flights at the home bar? Maybe that might be fun this holiday season!
If money isn’t an issue, try pairing your next beer flight by how much each beer costs. Lighter beers often cost less, while the beers with more ingredients or a more involved process (like barrel aging) reflect a higher price point. Whether it’s moving from cheap to pricey on your flight or pairing the most expensive beers on a menu, this can be an interesting way to learn why different beers are priced differently and help you determine the general range you like best.
If you drink a lot of beer, you know the value of great taste in a less alcoholic beer, but it can be fun to bring in the big guns once in awhile too. If you’re feeling frisky, try pairing beers that range in their ABV level. On average, the ABV for beer is 5%, but did you know the highest ABV in beer is 67.5%?! In comparison, the average ABV of wine is 11% and liquor is 37%. Try pairing your next flight from lowest to highest or ask to have all the lowest (or highest) ABVs all on one sampler.
When you’re at a restaurant and they have a collection of different breweries represented on tap, a great beer flight pairing can be a selection of four beers from a single brewery. It’s a quick way to taste the latest from a place you may start to like.
A beer flight doesn’t always have to lead you to a full pint! If you find a favorite on your first beer sampler, try having two of the flight glasses filled with that same beer you liked best, then add two new beers to complete a fun follow-up flight that includes your favorite, but still has a few new ones to keep things interesting.
Don’t feel obligated to get all new beers when enjoying your next beer flight. Including a favorite with any flight is an easy way to get you off to a good start, while providing a quick baseline as you explore new beers in your next sampler.
Good luck and have fun pairing your next creative beer flight. We hope you’ve enjoyed these fun ways to mix things up and we’d love to see you share a photo of your next beer flight on the FliteBrite Instagram channel or @FliteBrite on Twitter with the hashtag #SmartFlights.
A beer flight is an assortment of craft beers, often four; served together in small beer flight glasses.
There are 16 ounces in your full pint glass, so the beer flight is a fun way for customers to try different brews in smaller, 5-7oz. beer flight glasses. Ordering a variety of well-paired brews is one of the best ways to enjoy craft beer.
With craft beer unstoppable and beer flights being served almost everywhere, it’s crazy to consider the prehistoric way beer flights are actually served. In fact, think back to the last time you were served a flight of beer and how quickly you forgot which beer is which!
Some establishments provide hand-scratched titles for each beer, but this can be confusing, messy and wasteful. Beyond that, how can customers learn more about the beers in their flight, track their favorites and stay connected after they leave the taproom or restaurant?
The method to which beer flights are served has been overlooked and represents a missed opportunity, until now.
The age of serving blind beer flights will soon be over.
Smart flight paddles now allow the modern customer to easily enjoy entertaining education while tapping into more connectivity with the craft beer, breweries and restaurants they enjoy.
With accurate beer titles, interesting details and the ability to share the beer flight experience throughout social media, the evolved beer flight has become a more dynamic, engaging and enjoyable experience for all.