Soldiers help brew up new beer

WATTISHAM: A new real ale brew has been cooked up to recognise the ongoing bravery of soldiers based at Wattisham Flying Station.

The airbase is home to 656 Squadron Army Air Corps, the army’s main Apache unit, and some of its soldiers have had a hand in preparing the recipe and designing the label of the beer, which will be unveiled at a family day later in the summer.

Staff Sergeant Iain Ross came up with the idea for the celebratory brew and enlisted the help of old friend Paul Mellor of the Harwich Town Brewing Company.

He and Lance Corporal David Rennie joined Mr Mellor at the brewery yesterday and said they really enjoyed taking an active role in the process.

S Sgt Ross said: “656 was the first attack helicopter squadron and moved to Wattisham in 2008. We’re part of 4 Regiment Army Air Corps which is currently in Afghanistan at the moment.

“The idea was to commission a one-off beer for 656 Squadron as a celebration of its history. We’ve taken part in the whole process, with Paul’s guidance.”

The beer will be a bottled ale and it is hoped that it will also be available in real ale pubs in Suffolk as well as on the base itself and if it proves popular it could become part of the brewery’s regular line-up.

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The brew will be a 4 per cent ABV amber ale and will be named Chinthe’s Pride, after the mystical Burmese temple guardian that features on the squadron’s crest as a nod to its first operation in Burma.

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