Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Milds I have known

With Mild Month almost upon us, I'm getting all nostalgic. Thinking about those Milds I drank early in my drinking career. Beers which have almost all disappeared.

The 1978 Good Beer Guide lists 104 cask Milds being produced. Which isn't that far short of one per brewery. Of course, there were more Milds being brewed. As some breweries only produced evil keg versions. Bastards. Obviously, I never drank any of that muck.

My enthusiasism as a Mild drinker is is reflected in the number of the examples I tried - about two-thirds. And that's only the ones I'm sure about . You could probably add in another dozen or so maybes.

There were some real crackers in this disparate bunch. Courage Heavy, for example. Which was a rare Southwestern Mild. Even in 1978 Mild was a rarity in England's bottom left pointy bit. I only ever drank it at the Great British Beer Festival.

And the GBBF explains why I managed to get around so many. I worked at the early editions held at Alexandra Palace. Already being annoyingly fanatical about beer, but about especially Mild, I made a point of trying as many as I could. The GBBF being a good spot for that as many of the Southern Milds were already becoming difficult to track down in the wild.

How many Milds are regularly available now? And how many have you been able to tag?

Cask Mild in 1977
Brewer Beer Style OG tried?
Adnams Mild Mild 1032 Y
Ansell Mild Mild 1035.5 Y
Banks Mild Mild 1035.5 Y
Bateman Mild Mild 1032 Y
Batham Mild Mild 1036 Y
Belhaven 60/- Light Mild 1031 Y
Boddingtons Mild Mild 1031 Y
Border Exhibition Mild Mild 1032.2
Border Mild Mild 1031.6
Brains Dark Mild 1035 Y
Brakspear XXX Mild 1031 Y
Matthew Brown Mild Mild 1031 Y
Buckley Mild Mild 1032 Y
Burt BMA Mild 1030
Burtonwood Dark Mild Mild 1031.8 Y
Camerons Mild Mild 1033
Castletown Mild Mild 1036
Charrington Mild Mild 1034.6
Courage (London) Mild Mild 1032.5
Courage (Plymouth) Heavy Mild 1032 Y
Courage (Reading) Mild Mild 1032
Darley Mild Mild 1032 Y
Davenport Mild Mild 1033 Y
Devenish (Redruth) XXX Mild 1033
Donnington XXX Mild 1033
Elgood Mild Mild 1030 Y
Everards Mild Mild 1033 Y
Felinfoel Mild Mild 1032 Y
Fuller Hock Mild 1031.5 Y
Gale Dark Mild (XXX) Mild 1031
Greenall Whitley Dark Mild Mild 1033.7 Y
Greenall Whitley (Wem) Wem Mild Mild 1033 Y
Greene King (Biggleswade) XX Mild 1030.8
Greene King (Bury) Mild (XX) Mild 1030.8
Guernsey LBA Mild Mild 1036.6
Hansons Mild Mild 1035 Y
Hardys & Hansons Best Mild Mild 1035.4 Y
Hartleys Mild Mild 1032 Y
Harvey XX Mild 1030 Y
Higson Mild Mild 1033.4 Y
Holden Mild Mild 1036
Holt Mild Mild 1033.4 Y
Home Mild Mild 1036.1 Y
Hook Norton Mild Mild 1032
Hoskins Mild Mild 1033 Y
Hull Mild Mild 1032.25 Y
Hydes Mild Mild 1032 Y
Jennings Mild Mild 1033 Y
King & Barnes XX (Mild) Mild 1031.6 Y
Lees Best Mild Mild 1035 Y
Maclay 60/- Light Mild 1030 Y
Marston Merrie Monk Mild 1043 Y
Marston Mild Mild 1032 Y
Mitchell Mild Mild 1034 Y
Mitchell & Butler (Birmingham) Mild Mild 1034.6 Y
Mitchell & Butler (Walsall) Highgate Mild Mild 1034 Y
Morland Mild (XX) Mild 1032 Y
Morrell Dark Mild Mild 1032.6 Y
Okell Mild Mild 1035.2
Oldham Mild Mild 1031.7 Y
Paine Extra Special Mild 1032
Randall (Guernsey) Bobby Mild Mild 1035
Ridley XXX (or Mild) Mild 1030
Robinson Best Mild Mild 1032 Y
St Austell XXXX Mild 1032
Shepherd Neame Mild Mild 1031 Y
Shipstone Mild Mild 1034.6 Y
Simpkiss Mild Mild 1034 Y
Taylor Dark Mild Mild 1033.4 Y
Tennent 60/- Mild 1031
Tetley Mild Mild 1032 Y
Tetley Walker Mild Mild 1032 Y
Theakston (Masham) Dark Mild Mild 1032 Y
Three Tuns Mild Mild 1032
Thwaites Best Mild Mild 1033 Y
Thwaites Mild Mild 1031 Y
Tolly Cobbold Mild Mild 1030 Y
Vaux Mild Mild 1030.2 Y
Ward Best Mild Mild 1034 Y
Welsh Brewers Worthington Dark Mild or Dash Mild 1033.3 Y
Whitbread (Marlow) Dark Mild Mild 1030.6
Whitbread (Portsmouth) Mild Mild 1031.5
Whitbread (Rhymney) WBM Mild 1034.1
Whitbread (Romsey) Mild Mild 1031.5
Wilsons Great Northern Mild Mild 1032.2 Y
Yates & Jackson Mild Mild 1030.1 Y
Young & Co Mild or Best Malt Ale Mild 1030 Y
All Nations Mild Mild, Light 1032
Bass (Burton) Light Mild (or M) Mild, Light 1033.1
Boddingtons Best Mild Mild, Light 1033 Y
Burtonwood Light Mild Mild, Light 1031.5
Darley Light Mild Mild, Light 1032 Y
Gale Light Mild (XXX) Mild, Light 1030
Greene King (Biggleswade) KK Mild, Light 1030.8
Hydes Best Mild Mild, Light 1034 Y
Ind Coope (Romford) Mild Mild, Light 1031
Lees Mild Mild, Light 1031
McMullen AK Mild, Light 1033
Morrell Light Mild Mild, Light 1031.6
Rayment AK Mild, Light 1031 Y
Taylor Golden Best. Golden Mild, Light Mild or Bitter Ale Mild, Light 1033.4  Y
Theakston (Masham) Light Mild Mild, Light 1032
Webster Best Mild Mild, Light 1033.8 Y
Welsh Brewers PMA Mild, Light 1033.2
Average 1032.61
1978 Good Beer Guide

I won't claim they were all great beers. The Greenalls ones were shit, obviously. But most were at least decent. When looked after properly and in decent condition. And there was the rub. As Mild sales fell, and casks sat around too long, there was inevitably a fair bit of vinegar in pub situations. Which undoubtedly hastened Mild's demise.


Anonymous said...

Hi Ron ,
I`ve really got to disagree with you about the Greenall`s Dark Mild ;
one of THE BEST Milds I`ve ever tasted , Burtonwood was another cracking pint , as was the Boddington`s Dark Mild , MUCH BETTER THAN THEIR BITTER .



Chris Pickles said...

Some lovely beers there, I wonder how many are still available. I especially liked some of the light milds that were around in Yorks and Lancs in those days.

I counted 28. All from pubs, there would be others that I had at beer festivals but I can't remember what they were.

Ron Pattinson said...


I didn't live in the Northwest, but I never had a decent pint of Greenalls, Bitter or Mild. Plus I hated them for what they did to Shippos, Wem and Davenports, all really good breweries whose beer turned to shit after takeover. Though, to be fair, they did leave Shippos Mild alone.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ron ,
I guess we were a bit spoilt for choice up here ! ; did you ever try the two Thwaites`s Milds : Best , and Oridinary ( Usually refered to as `Cooking ` ) ? , another two top notch Milds , Oldham Mild was another cracker ,

John said...

On cask ~ just the two from your list. Batemans and Hooky. Both excellent.

Mike in NSW said...

Ron, on Tyneside in the 70s and most of the North East the de-facto dark mild in all Vaux pubs was Lorimers Scotch. Whilst technically a 70/- it was virtually the same ABV as Brains Dark. Back in the days when they started labelling an OG range as opposed to an actual ABV, the bottled and canned versions declared 1034 - 1038.

Also S&N did an underwhelming light mild called IPA that you could still find around the place.

Chris Pickles said...

Newcastle IPA... I used to drink this in Peterlee, around 1985. OG 1030 as I recall, must have been the weakest IPA of all time. Underwhelming indeed, but not unpleasant. (I liked to avoid falling over on the walk home)

Matt said...

Ten I think, including most of the North West ones (Hydes, Holts, Lees, Robbies, Wilsons) as well as Banks's, Bathams and both Harvey's and Greene King's XX.

Thom Farrell said...

What is the style definition of mild anyway? Because Marstons Merrie Monk was literally just Pedigree with caramel added for colour.

Mike Austin said...

Im sorry, but I have to agree with the first comment, although I can see why you had no luck with it.A handful of pubs sold a consistently good pint of mild and bitter (!) But they were few and far between. It always tasted cloying and sweet in the majority of the pubs, as if it had not attenuated properly. One of the good licences told me that it was all down to long periods of venting.
I utterly disagree about Wem. A much overlooked brewery, I thought the beer was lovely.

Ron Pattinson said...

ike Austin,

I'm only talking from personal experience about Greenall's beers. Which was limited.

Where did I wsay anything nasty about Wem? Their beers were wonderful. Some of the very best.

Mike Austin said...

Sorry, with it being listed as Greenhall Whitley Wem mild, the comments about Greenhalls 8seem to imply that it is included!
I apologise for being touchy - I loved the stuff!