Sometimes I really wish I’d lived in the 1950’s. Hang on a minute. I did. Sometimes I really wish I’s been an adult during the 1950’s. Especially when I see strong Milds like this. In London they seem to have flowered briefly, then disappeared forever. Which is a shame. Maybe if some of the stronger versions had hung around Mild itself would have fared better.
All these stronger are Milds are from large breweries. I don’t know if that’s just the vagaries of my sample, which is pretty small in size. Or if it was generally the bigger boys that bothered with more than one cask Mild. Because that’s one thing all these beers have in common: they had a weedier younger brother with an OG of around 1030º. No brewery produced just a strong Mild.
Taylor Walker were unusual in having particularly strong branding for their Best Mild, Mainline. A beer which they pushed quite a bit. And, unusually for a Mild, was found in both draught and bottled form. Main Line Special in the table is the bottled version, which you can see was considerably stronger than its draught counterpart.
The gravity averages 7 points higher than for Ordinary Mild, while the ABV is more than 0.5% higher. Watney’s Best comes in at over 4.5% ABV, which would have been a very reasonable strength for a Best Bitter in the early 1950’s.
Once again, they’re pretty dark beers. Not quite as dark on average as the Ordinary Milds from large breweries, but darker than the ones from small brewers. The lesson? Londoners liked their Mild dark.
|Large London brewery Best Mild Ale 1950 - 1954|
|Year||Brewer||Beer||Price per pint d||Acidity||OG||FG||ABV||App. Atten-uation||colour|
|1950||Charrington||Best Mild Ale||14||0.05||1037.4||1010.4||3.50||72.19%||105|
|1950||Ind Coope||Mild Ale||15||0.05||1039.2||1009.6||3.84||75.51%||75|
|1954||Ind Coope||Strong Mild Ale||19||0.05||1043.5||1010.7||4.26||75.40%||110|
|1954||Taylor Walker||Main Line Special||27||0.05||1044.5||1017.5||3.48||60.67%||125|
|Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/002.|
|Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252|
Provincial Mild next.