The Commemoration Collection was created to honour the centenary of the Great War, with one off beers available until 2019. Each remembrance beer in this special range marks an event, person or people of the First World War. Money from each pint sold is donated to Amnesty International UK and the Royal British Region, supporting two charities that perform vital work in the face of warfare.
Pilot’s Wings: 13 Squadron is the sixth beer in the range – a hoppy pale ale with aromas of citrus and pine, with an upfront bitterness – brewed in commemoration of Albert Ball, who was born in Lenton, Nottingham. He joined the No. 13 Squadron in January 1916 and went on to record 44 victories against Germany, with another 25 unconfirmed. Ball was the first man in the Great War to be awarded three Distinguished Services Orders. A posthumous Victoria Cross (VC) followed within a month of Ball’s death in 1917. He was just twenty years old.
Pilot’s Wings signifies the natural talent, determination and bravery of Albert Ball, and remembers those who flew before, beside, and after him.
Liv Auckland, the project leader of the range, says: “This isn’t the first time Castle Rock has commemorated Albert Ball. In Spring 2011, Ball was one of the first to be recognised in our Nottinghamian Celebration Ales range.
“It would have been wrong to commemorate the Great War without recognising Albert Ball once again. Yes, he was a hero, and a determined fighter who will be remembered for his military successes. But he was also a fascinating person – his passion was playing the violin, and letters to his parents show him to be a deeply sensitive, conscientious man. I hope this beer inspires more people to learn about Ball, and of course raises funds for those facing warfare today.”
A memorial of Albert Ball can be visited in the grounds of Nottingham Castle. A book about Albert Ball, written by Walter A. Briscoe, was published in 2014: Britain’s Forgotten Fighter Ace: Captain Albert Ball VC.