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13 High Flying Breweries

flyer-restaurant-andA Twitter exchange with pilot, CTO and beer enthusiast Sam Wiltzius – along with a recent article by Ian Livingston in USA Today’s Road Warriors – propelled us to dive deeper into aviation beer pairings. (We covered aviation and wine in this May post.) A $20 billion industry, the passion fueling the craft beer market is equal only to the passion driving pilots for over a century! Read on to discover 13 North American breweries with an aviation twist.*

Airways Brewing Company

Airways Brewing Longtime Alaska Airlines employee Alex Dittmar won his first beer making competition in 2008 as a home brewer for what is now Jet City ESB. Combining his love for beer and aviation – two significant industries in the Pacific Northwest – Airways is brewed and sold in Washington state. Visit the Tap Room: 6644 S 196th Street, Kent, WA, 98032. (253) 200-1707

American Sky Brewing Company

AmericanSkyInspired by WWII aviators – and a love of craft beer — American Sky Brewing opened in 2012. Enjoy their flagship Tailgunner Gold blonde ale, Bomber Series Twin Prop Double IPA, or Single Engine seasonal specialities. Tap room: 1510 Swasey Street, Hudson, WI 54016. (651) 503-3165

Aviator Brewing Company

Aviator-Logo-v3Aviator started brewing in an airplane hangar at Raleigh’s Triple W Airport in 2008. Quickly outgrowing their low key location, they moved brewery operations in 2009 to a 23,000 sq. ft. facility. A tap room and smoke house restaurant soon followed. See website for locations. Brewery: 209 Technology Park Lane, Fuquay Varina, NC 27526. (919) 567-2337

Barnstormer Brewing Company

barstormerWith names like Cirrus Session IPA and Cocky Captain Strong Ale, it’s no wonder Barnstormers was founded in 2013 by ‘like-minded, beer-loving wing nuts.’  An onsite brewpub serves lunch and dinner seven days a week. 384 Yonge Street #3, Barrie, Ontario. +1 (705) 481-1701

Check Six Brewing Company

ChecksixWhat happens when a home-brewing fighter pilot opens a brewery? Why that would be Check Six (as in, I’ve got your back) Beers, co-founded by Tim Hassel (Lt. Col., USAF). Try their Aerial Aggression IPA or Flying Circus Coconut Hefeweizen. Tap room:  5130 Southport-Supply Rd., Southport, NC. (910) 477-9280

Flyers Restaurant & Brewery


Already sporting an aviation theme – and brews with names like First Flight Amber, Heat Seeking Hefe and After Burner IPA, Flyers iced the cake when it opened a second location at the Skagit Municipal Airport. See website for locations and hours. (360) 899-1025

Flying Mouse Brewery

flying mouseWhen you dream up a brewery inspired by an adventure seeking mouse, spirits and invention go hand in hand. Meet Bartleby Hopsworth – the Flying Mouse mascot – and enjoy one of four brews currently served at this South Central Virginia tap room: 221 Precast Way, Troutville, VA, 24175. (540) 992-1288

Hangar 24 Craft Brewery

bettyInspired by the love of flying, Hangar 24 began with a passion for hand crafted beers, aviation adventures and great friends. Located at the Redlands Municipal Airport, Brew Master Ben Cook founded this popular brewery and tasting room for the rest of us to enjoy his award winning brews seven days a week. Don’t miss AirFest, Hangar 24’s anniversary celebration with aerial acts, live music, food trucks and more. 1710 Sessums Dr, Redlands, CA. (909) 389-1400

Hub at Gig Harbor

hubgig2The newest addition to the Harmon brewing family, the Hub at Gig Harbor is one of a handful of acclaimed brew pubs located at an airport. Overlooking the tarmac of Tacoma Narrows (KTIW), the Hub has great views of Olympic mountain range, fabulous fare, and a changing selections of craft beer served seven days a week inside the terminal restaurant: 1208 26th Ave NW, Gig Harbor, WA, 98335. (253) 853-1585

Saddle Mountain Brewing Co.


Plane owner and pilot Jacob Hansen founded his craft brewery with its line of Taildragger beers to merge his passions for aviation and craft beer into one business venture. Based in Goodyear Arizona, the taproom and restaurant opened in October 2014. 15651 W Roosevelt St, Goodyear, AZ 85338. (623) 249-5520

Schram Vineyards Winery & Brewery

schramMinnesota’s First Winery & Brewery owned by a husband and wife team, produces wine and small-batch custom brews in a beautiful vineyard setting. Opened in 2014, it’s next to the Molnau Airpark: 8785 Airport Rd., Waconia, MN 55387. (952) 442-5105


Warped Wing Brewery


A full scale production brewery and industrial tap room in Dayton’s old Buckeye Brass & Iron Foundry made our list with its signature Rye India Pale Ale can design and local aviation DNA. Home to aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright – and the national aviation heritage area – Dayton is a mecca for plane enthusiasts. 26 Wyandot Street, Dayton, OH, 45402. (937) 222-7003

Wingman Brewers

Named iwingmann honor of the aviators who fly outside and behind the lead pilot in formation, Wingman Brewers – along with its plane-sake names (Ace IPA, P-51 Porter and Strato Fortress) and bomb-shaped tap handles – import a serious aviation vibe at this Tacoma brewery. Check them out at: 509 1/2 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma, WA 98421. (253) 256-5240


wingman 2We hope you’ve enjoyed our round-up of aviation inspired craft beers and locations. We also want to mention pilot and aviation mechanic Ben Thompson, founder of Bird Boy Brewing, a production brewery named for Fort Wayne aviation pioneer “Bird Boy” Smith. Thompson started making three beers in August 2015 including Taildragger Belgian pale ale. Look for two new entries in 2016. Aero Plains Brewing, celebrating Wichita Kansas’ heritage as the Air Capital of the world, is scheduled to open there in late 2016. And, the well regarded Chuckanut Brewery has already started construction on a second location next to the Skagit Regional Airport.

 *Information and images obtained from each breweries website and social media or news articles. We did not include tap houses located at commercial airports and/or behind security.










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