Did you ever wonder why a flight is called a flight? I tried researching this, but didn’t come up with much information. Every resource seems to agree that “flight” originates from the second dictionary definition of the word. Flight as a noun is a group of creatures or objects flying together, in particular. The small grouping of beer samples fits this definition perfectly.
A flight can also be compared to a flight of stairs. Flights are usually drunk lightest to darkest where you work your way “up” in hues of color as you would work your way up a flight of stairs.
You can group your flight any way you’d like. A “Horizontal Flight” is a flight of beers that has been brewed on the premises. A “Vertical Flight” is a sampling of different vintages of the same beer. “Shades of a Single Style” is a flight of a single style where you compare the variations within the style chosen.
Some people do not agree with the beauty of a flight as I do. They feel you don’t truly appreciate or experience the beer because your palate is going all over the place tasting a variety in a short amount of time. I do see this point of view, but a sip of water and a bite of pretzel can cleanse your palate and leave you ready to enjoy the next taste.
If you’re lucky enough to be in a brewery or bar that has enough selections to do a Single Style flight, I’d go for it! You can compare color, taste, haziness, aroma, ABV, etc. You might find the beer you’d like a pint of, or just keep enjoying the samples and compare more.
The point is there are no rules when it comes to a flight. You choose whatever you want, you drink in any order you want, and you enjoy the flight any way you want. Have fun, share your opinion, and explore the selections. You might come across a beer you never would have considered.
Now sit back and enjoy your flight!