A Curious Brewer Creates the ‘Wright Flight’ to Give Your Beer Wings

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The co-founder of Inventors Brewpub decided to build a beer flight. (Adam Draeger)

All craft beer enthusiasts know that a sample of beers is called a “flight.” As long as there have been brewpubs, we have been calling a sample of beers a flight. Why is it called a flight? Birds fly, planes fly — beers don’t fly.

The only other clue as to its name might be related to a flight of steps. You can’t stand on every step at once just like you can’t drink four beers at once (unless you blend them and sip the beer blend). You need to drink the beers one step at a time just like you’d navigate a flight of stairs. This theory is just my speculation, but it got me thinking …

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If it’s called a flight, I figured I might as well give the beer wings. I started with a sketch and then mocked up a prototype using cardboard. Then I took measurements and created a 3D model in the free version of Sketchup. Finally, with a little experimentation with tolerances, I laser cut the pieces out of 3mm modeling plywood on my 40Watt CO2 laser. Voila: beers now have wings.

I decided to name my invention the “Wright Flight” after the Wright Brothers, the inventors of the first successful manned flight. The front board is removable and was added later as a small dry-erasable sign to designate the different beer flavors. The little block at the nose of the Wright Flight design has two purposes: first for strength, but secondly, I wanted to add a propeller to this bi-wing. I decided to scrap it since (a) it can’t spin without hitting the ground and (b) it wouldn’t last long with customers breaking this and constant repairs.

wright flight adam draeger
A look at the progression of Draeger’s Wright Flight design. (Adam Draeger)

(READ: This Brewery Will Serve You a Tarantula Burger)

Like we ask at Inventors Brewpub in Port Washington, Wisconsin, “What have you made today?”