Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Let's brew Wednesday - 1987 Boddington's ELM

Boddie's brewing logs are a bit dull. 90% Bitter, 10% Mild, eff all else. But there's the occasional weird beer hidden amongst them. Like ELM.

I was excited when I spotted it. As it's clearly another Mild. But what on earth could the EL stand for? My first guess was Extra Light Mild. Then I noticed the colour. It's darker than the standard Boddie's Mild. Funnily enough, it was Kristen who came up with what I believe may be the right answer: East Lancashire Mild.

As soon as he mentioned it, my brain started ticking away. I was sure I could remember a Mild that was specially brewed for Blackpool. This is another of the times I've been grateful for my obsessive nature. Obsessive about collecting beer details. That's why I went through half a dozen editions of the Good Beer Guide ripping out beer gravities. It's proved dead handy. I quick search in my spreadsheet and the answer was spat out: Blackpool Best Mild from Bass's Tadcaster brewery. Brew Ten with added caramel. Sounds lovely.

Why Boddie's should suddenly start brewing this beer, I've no idea. Unless, of course, they'd been brewing it for a long time and then phased it out. Could be that, too. All I know is that it doesn't crop up often in the brewing records.

On that vague note, let's go to Kristen . . . . . .

Kristen’s Version:

Notes: See the Oldham mild (2012.5.9) and Boddies mild (2012.5.16) for notes. Same for all these babies.


Arctic Alchemy said...

Without even brewing this one I know what it'll taste like, solid simple recipe, well done fellas!

Tom said...

It's a testament to the stunning popularity of Boddingtons Bitter. I imagine the William Stones records would be very similar re: Stones Bitter. These light coloured bitters were clearly very popular, so why did more brewers not imitate them? Strange.

Matt said...

ELM must have been a pretty short-lived beer. In the 1983 GBG, Bass are still brewing it in Tadcaster; by 1990, it's disappeared from Boddies list of beers (they're the only two GBG's I've got from that period).

I wonder why Boddies rebadged Blackpool Best Mild as East rather than North Lancashire Mild.

Ron Pattinson said...

Matt, I wasn't saying this was the same beer as the Bass one. Just that it might have been brewed for the same market.

Kristen England said...

A little neat experiment out be to make them all and try them side by side. In all actuality you guys could make all three from the same beer base. Just steep the roast and crystal on the side, boil it and add it to the fermenter. Same goes for the sugar.

Then you'd have 3 'different' beers easily.

Matt said...

Sorry Ron, I misunderstood "this beer" in the final paragraph to mean Blackpool Best Mild and that Boddies had been contract-brewing it for Bass and rebadging it as ELM in their own pubs.

Did Boddies have much of a tied estate in East Lancashire that would make it commercially worthwhile to brew a mild with that name?

Edward said...

I kegged this on the weekend and just started drinking last night. It turned out really nice. I could not find ANY of the recommended caramel subs so I cold steeped a few oz of carafa sp 2 added in the last 10 minutes to darken it up a bit - not as dark as it should be but I didn't want to add any flavour. I made invert based off the instructions on unholymess and I noticed there are caramel colourant instructions on there too. I haven't seen you recommend this method. Is it an alright sub?

Kristen England said...


yes, I wrote that with my buddy Nic. Its what I always send people to.