Apologies again dudes & dudettes (lady dudes) as I’ve made all too little time to write lately but late getting this print to touch press as the topic upon which I write is an ‘ongoing event’ that began 2/3 weeks ago & continues until June 9th (and people wonder why we have problems with the unsustainable nature of our alcohol consumption, I mean really).
Put aside all your perceptions of CAMRA members & ale drinkers in general as besocked & sandled Good Beer Guide wielding pot-bellied liver-spotted gnomes. They can perhaps be a little too fussy, difficult to please & easy to spot (given the visual markings listed above) but they know a damn decent pint so gasp in mock awe as I present…
Phil’s Make Mild Sexy Again Campaign 2012
This coincidentally might or might not overlap almost eerily with Nottinghamshire CAMRA’s Mild Trail 2012 whereby numerous Notts boozers try to constantly stock & offer at least one type of cask conditioned mild on tap. Effectively the counterpoint to IPA or any extreme/hoppy/bitter Pale ales, Milds tend to rely heavily on different varieties of roasted malts & subsequently can pack surprising & constantly satisfying flavours into a minority of nourishing ingredients and alcohol content.
Now a lot of the problem may be explained by the fact that when I type ‘Pint of Mild’ into any nameless globe-straddling search engine, this is the first image I & thus the world view…forgetting for a moment how said search engine uses knowledge of your previous searches to personally tailor your results.
A true West Midlander of a bygone era
This may be an album cover by the band of the same name or just a stereotypical sketch which summarises the image problems such would-be-proud British beverages face after almost 25 years of lager brands marketing men’s lifestyles domineeringly enough to remain the nation’s most widely consumed beer style.
But don’t just take my word for it, hear what all the rock stars wrote & sang…
“Cause I’m a Voodoo Mild, Lord knows I’m a Voodoo Mild baby” Jimi Hendrix
“I can see 4 milds & milds & milds & milds etc…oh yeah” Pete Townshend (whose surname even sounds phissed)
“Like a true nature’s child, we were born, born to drink Mild” Mars Bonfire (this is a man who coined the phrase/genre ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ – gulp!)
Revivale/A New Dawn
In the misguided hope of spearheading a revival of not just more independent & micro’s brewing of Mild but gents of an unrespectable innings being seen ALONE (not some lost student on an ‘Ex-miner with dementia’ pub crawl) drinking it.
Like some unstoppable modern-day Hunter S. Thompson…of Mild, overall I amount to less than the sum of all my parties. Not a bevy to win the lasses but then when did I ever?
Honestly, the things grown men who ought to know bitter will do for stickers of acknowledgement amongst their CAMRA herded peers & possible future selves if exercise routines & blood circulation go awry eh? I’m sure many men my age would assume I actually prefer the taste of the stickers and that the halves of Mild are just a go-between. All for a free XXXL T-Shirt (after spending all known disposable income on ‘the other black stuff’ – Mild’s street name) which resembles a counterfeit Iron Maiden tour shirt from dahn market & bottles/token for EVEN MORE MILD?!
I suspect its that same collectability factor that guys always seemed to go for in one sip of a big way with football stickers, pogs, monster in my pockets, boglins, tazos (rebranded pogs), gogo’s (cutesy monsters) and so forth. Girls followed suit too I’m sure but never with the same amount of zeal in this humble scribe’s experience.
Mild hearses wouldn’t keep me away – Wahey! Here’s my list thus far;
Stratford Haven – Black Gold (Castle Rock; see other 2 offerings below)
Malt Shovel – Rock Mild (Nottingham Brewery)
The Organ Grinder – Oak-aged Guerilla Stout (Blue Monkey)
Hand & Heart – Late in the day of my birthday session so don’t quite recall would you believe
Portland Arms – Dole-dependant haggard crones made type of mild unclear
The Gatehouse – Dark Ruby Mild (Sarah Hughes, Dudley)
The Bell Inn – Greene King Mild (Greene King, Bury St. Edmonds)
Roebuck (JD Weatherspoons) – Ruby Mild (Rudgate, York)
Roundhouse – Dark Gem (Caythorpe, Notts)
Dark with hints of chocolate balanced by a subtle hop flavour
Ropewalk – Black Tom (Springhead, Retford)
Dark & nutty with a chocolaty finish – name derived from Thomas Fairfax, a commander in chief during the English Civil War. Peace out
Sir John Borlaise Warren – Black Dragon Mild (Banks & Taylor, Dudley)
Strong & dark (just like my men) brewed with 4 types of malt (Pearl Pale, Crystal, Black & Wheat) & pronounced roast flavours.
Crown Inn – Scoundrel (Leatherbritches)
4.10 out of 5 ain’t bad by anybody’s rating system let alone somebody with the nickname Mildman http://pubsandbeer.co.uk/index.php?ID=P&pub=1576&CH=PM&from=UTL&fromval=189
Kean’s Head – Mink Mild (Castle Rock)
Those still to sip out…(Seek & Destroy)
As a leading cigarillo makers, i reckon John would’ve fancied a smoky malted mild
Along with the regular mild Black Gold (above) Castle Rock have 2 other specials;
Mink – Their 2.8% dark brown mild in conjunction with Notts Wildlife Trust. Paying less excess duty under 3% & always ensuring taste before toxicity.
John Player – CR’s other 4.2% light golden mild in the style of Timothy Taylor’s take
Magpie Brewery on Meadow Lane right near the Notts County ground will have 2 Milds on during the Mild Trail. Nottingham Brewery have gone one better with Rock Mild, Centurion (first brewed in memory of local CAMRA hero Spyke Golding during 2009) & Foundry Mild all found at The Plough in Radford. The Trent Bridge Inn rediscovering its former glories although sadly now another ‘Spoons, will be showcasing 8 UK milds at various stages over the month with Rock Mild as their mainstay.
Now citizens of Middle Earth (or The Midlands as they’re known today), add up all the number of times I’ve written Mild throughout this post, then go & drink at least triple that amount around the fine establishments of Mild Marian’s city (Nutty-ngham).
“Sod this coquettish dribble, I’d prefer a pint o’ mild”
Some useful links (which may/may not ultimately mark your dark & watery graves)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/features/2003/05/mild_trail.shtml – old article but still very relevant for our country’s current quandary