Friday, 10 August 2007

Beer O'Clock: Mild Ale

Your regular Friday afternoon Beer O'Clock post is contributed this week by a SOBA Stu.

Tonight I'm drinking something less bitter than normal because there's a bitter enough taste already in my mouth. On that, more later.

For now, I'm drinking a homebrewed mild ale--and it's tax free and tastes good! The style descriptions for the Beer Judge Certification Program describe a mild ale as "A light-flavored, malt-accented beer that is readily suited to drinking in quantity. Refreshing, yet flavorful." That sums it up aptly. So does the name "mild.

New Zealand's only commercial example of a mild ale is the excellent Mike's Mild Ale, from the White Cliff's brewery in Taranaki. It's a delicious dark beer from the provinces with subtle roasty flavours, only a hint of hops, and a well-deserved cult following. I reviewed this beer, here in May last year and after having a couple of bottles recently I still thoroughly recommend keeping an eye out for it in good bottle stores and supermarkets.

Mild ale, much like "Bitter" (it's more well-known cousin), has struggled to keep a foothold amongst last century's growing tide of pale lagers and pseudo-ales. Perhaps this is a reflection on their rather staid and unappealing names, or perhaps their working class histories--both were beers for people to drink in quantity, back in the day when working actually meant getting their hands dirty. Contrary to their cloth-capped image however, these are truly excellent examples of balance and flavoursome goodness; low-alcohol drinks of subtle style, almost forgotten, in a time where big is heavily promoted as best. Both styles are perfect after a hard day working around the house and looking after my two little boys.

On the subject of my two wee lads (both doing well, thanks for asking), my youngest boy, Ted, will be drinking with me tonight. He's drinking Nutricia's Karicare Gold Plus. Contrary to the panic on the streets of Canterbury, he's thriving on this "unsafe" formula (just as his big brother did). But thanks to a couple of do-gooding "concerned mothers" called Helen Stanley and Megan Bonny, I've had to purchase a a few months' formula is advance. Thankfully the mild ale I'm drinking is leaving no bitterer taste in my mouth, otherwise I'd possibly have a little more to say on the matter.

Slainte mhath, Stu

1 comment:

  1. There's another mild ale available in NZ: Green Man Dark Mild, out of the old Emerson's plant and site (Dunedin). Recent tastings have not been as proven this beer to be as polished as "Mike's" but it's worth a look.


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