Biggles Cops a Frothy!

Short Round

DDH Session IPA

Mr Banks

In the light-haze that pressed against the inkwell black skies over sub-sub-sub-tropical Melbourne, Flight Commander James Bigglesworth, better known to his friends as Biggles, approached the airstrip. It was pitch black and the landing lights twinkling along the makeshift runway of the hidden airbase were torches lit upon the appearance of his ‘plane on the base radar, and would be snuffed again once he had safely taxied to a halt.

                With much-practiced skill, he swiftly brought the gleaming Bristol Beaufighter safely in below the line of the buildings and touched down on the hard tarmacadam. As he drew up to the hangar, he noted that the lights were already winking out, one by one – no doubt at the hands of the boy they’d nicknamed Dingo who was pressed into all the dogsbody work around the tiny airbase.

                He shut off the mighty twin Rolls Royce Merlin engines, the powerful roar passing through a high-pitched whine and eventually into grumbling silence, as he leapt out of the cockpit, four-pack in hand. He left the machine for the boys on the ground to bring to muster and headed into the bungalow, his prize held aloft.

                Inside were three other airmen, gathered around a cast iron potbellied stove. “What-ho, Biggles!” they cried in unison. “I say, did you get it?” asked Spiffy.

                “I’ll say!” declared Biggles. “And how!”

                He plonked the 4-pack in front of them, and they each took a can. They each carefully considered the label and tipped it into tin mess mugs. It poured a very pale yellow, milky and opaque.

                “I say” said Bingeo “that’s a rum brew and no mistake, what?”

                “Rather” replied Biggles, savouring the mellow fruity aroma; bitter, like spiked fruit juice.

They all toasted each other and then took their first sips in silence. “Good lord” proclaimed Squadron Leader Puffy. “It’s ever so much like the dankest of dank weed, eh? So much so as to be almost chemical, what?”

                The other airmen nodded. “Bally big fore palate, rather a light mid one though, but definitely something of a late and lingering acridity” said Puffy.

                Biggles cleared his throat. “Bally strong perfumed hops, too, no? Like incense, with a touch of those ubiquitous tropicals like passionfruit and grapefruit-y citrus pith, perhaps a little mango and guava, and do I detect a little something sweetly peachy, nestled in amongst all that back-palate bitterness?”

                “Rather” agreed Spiffy. “But I tell you what, you know who’d like this? Our American chums, or those who have developed a penchant for their dick-measuringly large IPA’s while stationed therewith.”

                “Indeed” nodded Bingeo, looking at the can again. “At a rather manageable 4.1%, if you like those, then this is the one for you. Provided, of course” he took another sip “you want to drink those all day but still arrive out the other side of the BBQ or whathaveyou in one piece.”

                “For a session IPA, it certainly has no deficit in that big hop kick, though it rather lacks a little something in the body” agreed Biggles. “But I suppose that can’t be helped when one is looking for something so sessionable.”

                “Agreed” said Bingeo. “I say, I wouldn’t hate just a touch more fizz – you know, to really drive those hops right up into my brain.”

                “I say, it really is the most deuced thing” mused Puffy. “But I’ll be damned if it somehow doesn’t just get easier and easier to drink as one goes along, what? Though it has those bold and punchy hop notes, it rather lacks that varnishing effect on the tongue.” He rolled the beer around his mouth. “Even though that bitterness is ever-present at the back of the palate there. As you push through, the bitterness sort of rolls back and allows more of the fruitiness through, I warrant. I say, they do do good work down there at Mr Banks, wouldn’t you say?”

                They all agreed together. “Bally good.”

                “Rather.”

                “Top hole.”

                “Quite.”

                “Well, bottoms up – early start tomorrow lads! Best be off to bed so we can be up in the blue end before the Boche, eh what?” said Biggles. They toasted once more, drained their mugs and wandered off into their own little corners in the darkness of the secret airbase for a good night’s kip, knowing that the session IPA they’d just enjoyed – though hoppy enough to satisfy the most perverted of palates – would let them greet tomorrow neither dusty nor regretful.

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