Sunday, 12 January 2014

Lancashire Dark Mild

from M & S. That's what I'm drinking now. Thwaites Mild. In Amsterdam. How great is that? It even counts as Real Ale.

The kids were most excited about the bacon, crumpets and crisps when Marks opened a shop here last year. And mini pork pies. For Dolores it was the tea and bagels.

The tea excited me too. I'm a loose tea man all the way. Tea bags? The work of the devil, just like keg beer. And I did get withdrawal symptoms after we'd found Marks ausgecrumpetet* last weekend. Cheese on toast just doesn't do it for me, breakfast-wise. Once you get a taste for crumpet, you never lose it.

In pursuit of crumpet, I'm ashamed to say that it was only a few visits in that I noticed their beer selection. Yorkshire Bitter and London Porter didn't come as any surprise. But smack me in the gob if they didn't have Mild.

I won't go into my strange love affair with Mild. It's just a form of indie obscurantism that got out of hand. What would I do if Mild became hugely popular again? Switch my affection to fading star IPA? Write three sentences in a row ending in a question mark? Who knows?

When there was no Mild on the shelves of M & S one Saturday, a chiv of guilt jabbed between my ribs. Had they stopped stocking it because it didn't sell?

I feel it's my duty to buy six bottles every Saturday. You get one free when you buy six. And, even if Mild fans are as thin on the ground catwalk models in a potato field, should be enough to keep it on the shelves.

It's not cask Tetley's (for which I would happily sacrifice not only my children, but the whole of my immediate family). But It's Mild. Decent Mild.

My mate Harry defined the perfect city as having three things: trams, professional Rugby League and Dark Mild. No city could manage more than two, after Blackpool's rugby team folded. Prague and Munich were too of the city's that came the closest.

Should they adopt the 13-man code here, I'd be in heaven.

*Dolores: Two out of three times you go down the M&S in Amsterdam, there are no crumpets left on the shelves to buy. Upon enquiry of the staff, they are sold-out, again. The staff assures you that they hope they get another consigment containing crumpets in soon.

I am not the only customer who asks, apparantly. The staff becomes more laconic about crumpet supplies over time, I noticed. 


Bailey said...

We love it, and my Dad certainly did. Drank us dry, in fact. Very convincingly cask-like.

Phil said...

Salford just about qualifies on all three fronts - the tram only runs to the posh bit, though (you can get a tram to Salford Central, but by the time it gets there it's turned into a train). Manchester comes up short on the RL front.

BryanB said...

"Mrs Pattinson, you're the tenth person I've told today: there's no call for them!"

Matt said...

The City of Salford definitely qualifies, even if it's a bit bigger than the traditional boundaries of Salford. Rugby league at the Salford City Stadium in Barton-on-Irwell, trams - and not just through the "posh bits", unless you think Langworthy and Weaste are posh - and dark mild in Holt's Eccles pubs.

Phil said...

Langworthy? We used to dream of moving up to Langworthy...

Depends what you mean by 'tram' - I was excluding services running along train lines, as with the Salford Central reference.

Matt said...

By "tram" Phil I mean the Metrolink which runs through the streets of Manchester and Salford but not through Salford Central station (I don't know what you mean by "by the time it gets there it's turned into a train"). The only services that run on former train lines as far as I know are the ones to Altrincham and Bury.