The Mild Page                        

 

CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) have dubbed May the Month of Mild in a bid to reinvigorate the reputation of mild beer - a brewing tradition that can be traced back to the 16th century. Once the most popular of British beers right up to the 1950s, it sadly suffered a rapid decline until, in 2002, it accounted for less than 2% of all beer sales in the UK.
Usually dark brown in colour, due to the use of well-roasted malts or barley, it is less hopped than bitters and often has a chocolatety character with nutty and burnt flavours in short it is a beer which has tastes and textures all of its own.
The darkness of Dark Milds, such as Elgood's Black Dog and Otter Mild comes from the use of darker malts and/or roasted barley which are used to compensate for the loss of hop character. Chocolate, fruit, nut, toffee and butterscotch are all tastes to be found in the complex taste of traditional milds. However, not all milds are dark. Jennings Tom Fool is a good example of a lighter mild with its amber-colour and deep character.
Milds today tend to have an ABV in the 3% to 3.5% range, with of course some notable exceptions. In fact, a lot of the Microbreweries who try their hand at mild are bringing the alcohol content back up somewhat! In fact, some of the larger breweries are moving in that direction too - Marston's Merrie Monk being at 4.5% for example