Monday 20 July 2020

Dark Mild Ale (part two)

I didn't expect to find masses of references to Dark Mild Ale before WW I. But I am surprised at how few I'm finding after it.

The next one I can find isn't until 1931. And isn't at all where I'd expected to find it. Given that the Northeast wasn't somewhere where Dark Mild was ever a really big thing. Unlike, say, the West Midlands.
"Have you tried this rich dark MILD ALE?
TASTE it! Enjoy the full luscious flavour!  Note how smooth and soft it comes to the palate. There's character in it... . something better and more satisfying than the usual mild ale. See now clear it it, too . . . . clean, fresh and wholesome to the last drop.

Thanks to skillful brewing from carefully blended malt flavoured with fine selected hops, you have here a dark mild ale you will remember and ask for again and again.

Pint bottles 6/6 doz.
3/4 pints 5/6 doz.
Half-Pints 3/9 doz."
Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Saturday 07 March 1931, page 7.
Looking at that price, I immediately starting working out how strong Newcastle Mild Ale would have been. 6/6 a dozen is 6.5d per pint. Knock off 1d and you get the draught price. 5.5d is halfway between a 5d Mild Ale of 1037º and a 6d Mild Ale at 1043º. My guess would genuinely have been about 1040º.

How right I was.

Newcastle Brown Ale and Mild Ale 1931-1932
Year Beer Style Price per pint (d) OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation
1931 Mild Ale Mild 1040.5 1013.5 3.49 66.67%
1932 Mild Ale Mild 8 1036 1011.5 3.17 68.06%
1931 Brown Ale Brown Ale 1059.5 1014 5.93 76.47%
1931 Brown Ale Brown Ale 1056 1014 5.46 75.00%
Younger, Wm. & Co Gravity Book document WY/6/1/1/19 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive.
Thomas Usher Gravity Book document TU/6/11 held at the Scottish Brewing Archive.
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.

Why is the 1932 version weaker? Because of the budget of September 1931 would have increased the price by about 1d per pint. But instead most brewers cut gravities to keep the retail price the same.

1 comment:

Mike in NSW said...

Growing up on Tyneside in the 60s and early 70s I drank a lot of 70/- "Scotch" ales, mostly Lorimers (Vaux) or McEwans which were dark ales, around 1.038 I'd guess. Many street corner Vaux pubs, especially in Gateshead, had Lorimers Scotch as their only draught offering other than lager or a keg, and you had to search around to find a Vaux pub selling Samson, which was Vaux's answer to Exhibition or Fed Spec.

I would have classed the Scotches as being fairly typical dark milds. I was an early member of CAMRA so did a fair few beer trips with our local group, especially when I moved to Cardiff, and got acquainted with a few milds.