FLYING ace Captain Eric “Winkle”
Brown has a distinguished aviation record second to none — and now he has his very own beer, brewed in Bolton.
The Second World War Royal Navy pilot and test pilot, who has flown more types of aircraft than anyone else in the world, celebrated his 94th birthday in style — with Winkle Brown Premium Ale.
Dunscar Bridge Brewery was asked to design a commemorative bottled beer for Captain Brown’s birthday celebrations, which shows him in uniform with a de Havilland Hornet in the background.
Brewery managing director Pat Kitchen said: “To be asked to produce a beer for such a distinguished pilot as Eric “Winkle” Brown was an absolute honour.
“When we looked at his amazing war and post-war flying record, we were stunned to find out he holds all sort of aviation records and we didn’t know what to put on the label at first.
“But when we found his favourite plane out of all the aircraft he had flown in a truly remarkable career, was the de Havilland Hornet, parts of which were manufactured locally at the de Havilland factory in Lostock, the decision was made for us.
“We think the blend of English and American hops we used to produce a bold flavour truly mirrors Captain Brown’s strength of character and helps celebrate his amazing service to British naval aviation.”
A party was held at the Boultbee Flight Academy in Goodwood, Sussex, and included guests who have flown World War Two Spitfires or other vintage aeroplanes in the Royal Navy, the Army or the Royal Air Force.
At his party, Captain Brown, who lives in West Sussex but was born in Leith, near Edinburgh, and enjoyed the Winkle Brown Premium Ale, along with 30 guests.
He then spoke about flying the Spitfire — he is the only man living to have flown all 18 production models, plus all six marks of the naval versions, known as the Seafire. Ms Kitchen said: “We are very pleased he liked the beer and we would love to create another one for him when he reaches his centenary.”