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Posted on Thu, May 27, 2010 : 11:15 a.m.

Giant beer bottle hot air balloon spotted in Dexter

By Tina Reed

Call this one tall drink — 15 stories tall.

A giant beer bottle could be spotted from I-94 as commuters made their way through the Dexter area Thursday morning.

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A look at the beer bottle hot air balloon inflated at Cameron Balloons in Dexter on Thursday morning.

Tina Reed |

That bottle — a hot air balloon — was being inflated on the grounds at Cameron Balloons, which designs and constructs custom-made hot air balloons.

Their recent creation was commissioned by Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

Being called Flight 55, the balloon replica of a bottle of Select 55 beer will be used to promote the product at festivals around the country this summer, according to Anheuser-Busch. The tour will be "a summer long journey to find the most interesting festivals and foods in the country."

In an online video, representatives from the company said the beer is the "lightest beer in the world," and they thought it made sense to make a bottle that would literally float.

When inflated, the cap of the bottle is 164 feet above the ground.

In the online video, sales representative and pilot Paul Petrehn said a typical balloon might take two to three weeks of production time. "This balloon's probably going to have about four to five weeks worth of production time due to the sophisticated artwork that needs to be applied to it."

Cameron Balloons in Dexter makes about 50 custom-made hot-air balloons a year. The small factory produces balloons from nearly start to finish - from hand-weaving the baskets to sewing together the colorful panels that create balloon envelopes, which usually stand about 70 feet tall when inflated.

The company has made notable balloons, including some for the Super Bowl in 2008 and a replica from the Disney/Pixar movie "UP" of a house attached to hundreds of balloons.


A look at the bottle from the Baker Road overpass at I-94.

Tina Reed |

Tina Reed covers health and the environment for You can reach her at, call her at 734-623-2535 or find her on Twitter @TreedinAA.


Frank Martin-Buck

Thu, Jun 3, 2010 : 11:30 a.m.

Hey, you changed my vomiting emoticon into a surprised face one! I'll do it in words, then. Budweiser is gross, but custom hot air balloons are cool.


Thu, May 27, 2010 : 10:48 p.m.

"But officer, I only had two beers with dinner."

Frank Martin-Buck

Thu, May 27, 2010 : 10:25 p.m.

Budweiser = :-O< It's cool that a company in Dexter makes hot air balloons like that, but in terms of beer I'll stick with Dexter's Jolly Pumpkin.


Thu, May 27, 2010 : 1:41 p.m.

That's nothing compared to the World's Largest Six Pack in La Crosse, WI!


Thu, May 27, 2010 : 1:31 p.m.

Now that's what I call a "Tall Boy"!


Thu, May 27, 2010 : 1:19 p.m.

Think of the children! I have my own pics of this since I work out that way. I love seeing them test out balloons in the morning...


Thu, May 27, 2010 : 12:10 p.m.

Only when you drive by Cameron when this is taking place do you realize you had no idea where hot air balloons came from. I can't WAIT to see what kind of snarky comments people come up with about it being a beer bottle and "think of the children!"