Thursday 28 July 2016

Large London brewery Best Mild Ale 1950 – 1954

Mild. But not just any Mild. Best Mild.

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
1951 Ind Coope XXX 14 1034.76
1951 Taylor Walker Mainline 15 0.08 1035.2 1007.6 3.58 78.41% 100
1951 Watney Best 20 0.07 1043.1 1008 4.57 81.44% 110
1952 Ind Coope X 13 1036.69 102
1954 Ind Coope Strong Mild Ale 19 0.05 1043.5 1010.7 4.26 75.40% 110
1954 Taylor Walker Mainline 15 0.04 1036.5 1014.5 2.84 60.27% 95
1954 Taylor Walker Main Line Special 27 0.05 1044.5 1017.5 3.48 60.67% 125
Average 16.89 0.06 1039.0 1011.2 3.72 71.99% 102.8
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.

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