Thursday 13 July 2023

It's official - the USA wants Mild

In a highly scientific survey on Twitter I asked this question:

Which would you choose from these?

These were the results:

XXX 29.50%
IPA 28.60%
Porter 23.20%
Stout 18.60%

OK, I'm assuming most responders were American. And I didn't really mention that XXX was Mild. Other than that, a totally valid and representative survey.

Those four beers, incidentally, formed the typical range of a late 19th-century US Ale brewery.

There's a long tradition of Mild or "present use" Ale in the USA.Drinkers clearly like the idea of it. So why aren't Americans drinking gallons of Mild? I blame the marketing.

I'm sure that it would sell much better under another name. Preferably one including the letters IPA. Like Mild IPA. Or Young IPA. That sounds good. Bound to draw the youthful crowd.

Come on, US brewers. You've only yourselves to blame if Mild isn't flying out of your warehouses.


Rob said...

Any idea what the difference was between porter and stout in 19th century American breweries?

Was it just strength or was there a recipe difference also?

Robin said...

I had a very decent pint of cask English Mild at Mathews Brewing Co, at Lake Worth, Florida a few years ago (2019). Looking at their website they are still brewing it, along with a Brown Ale (as per your earlier post).

Anonymous said...

After several years of pushing it, Mild is now one of our top sellers. So it IS possible Ron!


arnie moodenbaugh said...

I doubt that current US ales generally follow the British aging specifications you suggest. I don't have direct knowledge, but suggest that most US ales (IPAs, pale ales, porters, stouts) are aged for a couple of weeks. Barrel aged products (as specified in the marketing) use longer aging times. Fifty years ago the traditional (primarily lager) brewers marketed ales that were probably aged between two and four weeks (similar to their lagers) and maybe at higher than lagering temperatures. Long aging wasn't common. Ballantine aged their IPA and Burton Ales, but I'm not aware of other examples that lasted into the 70s. On a side note, JessKidden (ongoing beer advocate Anchor Steam discussion) mentions Fritz Maytag's description of historic steam beer that corresponds pretty well with your aging process (but with lager yeast, of course). Now that beer is discontinued.

Anonymous said...

Um...doesn't xxx sound a bit naughty? Surely marketing gold?

Duncan Williams said...

BryanB said...

Hah! So all those cans of Stone's Enjoy By "fresh IPA" are actually Mild? That makes a weird kind of sense, really. (-:

Ron Pattinson said...


strength, I would guess. But I haven't seen the brewing records to know for sure.

A Brew Rat said...

Plenty of U.S. craft brewers brew American Amber, which I would guess to be similar to Mild. Lower hopping rate than pale ale and darker in color. They also seem to be fond of brewing a made up style, Irish red ale.

Steve D. said...

It could be reviving, Ron. Just last month, I had a dark mild from Spiteful Brwg., Farthing (local to Chicago - but no longer a member of the Illinois Craft Brewers Guild), Untappd (3.6% abv). It was quite good. I will have it again should I view it on draught anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Irish red isn’t that just copper red to rugby coloured sweet to sweetish ale with low hopping rates.