Love catching an interesting craft beer at the airport before grabbing your flight? Well, you’re in luck, even if you fly in and out of smaller U.S. airports.
Smaller airports across the U.S. – in states such as North Carolina, Michigan and Florida, are increasingly inviting popular local brewpubs to open their doors behind the TSA checkpoints. It’s a trend that larger airports such as Atlanta, Boston and Denver had embraced several years ago.
The trend’s spreading as smaller airports try to “tap” into consumers’ evolving tastes and desire for local experiences, but also as they try to stay competitive with the larger airports that offer greater flight options.
“It’s a change from the old days when airports said they had to have a Starbucks and a McDonalds,” airport consultant and road warrior Steve van Beek told me last week during an interview in Washington D.C.
Examples of local brewpubs in smaller airports:
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport – In July, RJ Rockers Flight Room opened to serve barbecue and beer, such as the Son of a Peach, an American pale wheat ale. It’s located in Concourse A.
Grand Rapid’s Gerald R. Ford International Airport – A year ago, Michigan’s Bell’s Brewery opened a location inside the airport behind TSA security. It has a long bar countertop made of crushed beer-bottle shards, according to a report from local publication Mlive.com.
Tampa International Airport. Cigar City Brewing in 2012 opened an outpost at the airport, according to last week’s article in the Tampa Bay Times. It’s located in Terminal C, which services Southwest Airlines. You can even buy a six-pack to take with you, the article says.
Readers: Any brewpubs out there that stand out?