The Wolf Brewery in Norfolk has recently been brewing a selection of brews to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
The Battle of Britain, for background, took place in the autumn of 1940 when the ‘few’ of the Royal Air Force defeated overwhelming numbers of German Luftwaffe.
The resulting British air superiority ensured that the planned German invasion of Britain was postponed, changing the likely outcome of World War 2. Shepherd Neame (above whose Kent hop fields the Battle of Britain was fought) brought out their own commemorative beer ‘Spitfire’ back in 1990 and it has become a mainstay of their range.
There were a large number of air bases in the flat land of Norfolk (that’s the bulbous bit on the east coast of England) and the Wolf Brewery’s range of twelve bottled beers includes four RAF themed beers, ‘Bravery’ (4.3% ABV), ‘Sacrifice’ (4.5% ABV), ‘Freedom’ (4.8% ABV) and ‘Battle of Britain’ (3.9% ABV).
A donation of ten pence (about 15 cents) from the sale of each bottle goes to RAF veterans charities. Every little helps, as they say, and ‘Battle of Britain’ is widely available through a major supermarket chain.
The Wolf brewery itself was founded by Wolfe Witham in 1995 on the site of what used to be a Cider plant in Norfolk. These were the dark times before cider regained its popularity, and the brewery flourished on the site, until expansion forced it to new premises in the tiny village of Besthorpe.
Wolfe Witham himself was a Norfolk brewing legend, as the mainstay of the Reindeer Brewery in Norwich through the eighties. I well remember having to ask my wife to drive back after I discovered the Reindeer and its awesome brews.
So, to the beer Battle of Britain “Sacrifice”, which pours with a thin pale head which quickly fades leaving little or no lacing.
The beer itself is a bright copper/brass colour with a hoppy nose, but not as hoppy as an IPA or APA.
This is a bottled equivalent of a ‘session’ bitter and as such you’re not going to expect firework displays on your tongue, but what you get is a well balanced, crisp, hoppy ale that really refreshes. On a summer’s day this would go down a treat, and at 3.9% ABV I might not need to trouble my wife again.
I’m happy to give this three stars; it’s a beer that does what it sets out to, and does it rather well. That it helps raise funds for our veterans, so much the better.
Bob the Brit