I lived in Leeds at the time. Studied, really. I was at university, is more accurate. If I'd been studying I'd have a degree. Leeds, though another part of the grey North was in a different world beer-wise to Manchester. Leeds was a Tetley monopoly, pretty much. Don't get me wrong, I loved their Mild. But a little variation now and again would have been nice.
Me and Simon decided to make a day trip to Oldham. I can't imagine many others ever did that. The train comnection was rubbish so we went by coach. Something that was to colour my day. One of the main reaons we picked Oldham was the Oldham brewery. You couldn't really get their beers anywhere else.
Simon was an early ticker. He ticked off beers in the Good Beer Guide as he tried them. He was keen to tick Oldham's beers. There was another reason Oldham was attractive: the opening hours. The pubs stayed open until three in the afternoon, but re-opened at five. The spoilt youngsters of today can't appreciate the horror and inconvenience of afternoon closing. total pain in the arse. Oldham was the only place I knew where it was just two hours.
Our plan was simple. Get there for opening time and drink till they threw us out. Piss around for 90 minutes or so, then back to the pubs. This amazes me, but I can even remember what we did in that dead time. Walked around a bit then sat in a playground eating crisps.
I didn't drink much in the evening session. Because of the incipient coach ride home. It took over an hour and, being a bus, there were no bogs. Just the thought of being caught short on the bus brought me out in a cold sweat. So, very, very unusually for me, I was moderate in my consumption.
Despite all the details I can remember about that distant day in 1978 or 1979, I have no recollection of the most important: how Oldham beer tasted. I know I drank the Mild. That's all I drank back then, given a choice. And that was when Mild was universally available in much of the North. There's a vague memory of it being quite pleasant, but not outstanding.
Did I mention that we're doing a Boddie's Mild month here at Let's Brew? Of course, there's also Boddie's own Mild. But there's a third. A beer I'd never heard of, but found in their brewing records. One for the connoisseurs.
I see I've managed to say as good as nothing about Oldham Mild itself. AS soon as I saw the recipe, I though to myself: "Look like my type of Mild." Some dark malt in there, bit of crystal and a soupcon of hop. Hopefully one of you will brew it and send me a bottle. That is, after all, the main reason I publish all these recipes.
Time for Kristen's technical thing bit . . . . . . .
Notes: Very straightforward and easy to drink sexy little mild. Everyone should make this. Its cheap and fast to do. You can have it in the bottle in under a week. Get on it lazy boneses!