According to CAMRA, May is Mild Month. Great news if you are going to a beer festival. Not necessarily so great if you are just dropping into the pub for a swift half.
Last weekend we were in Norwich. Now I know of one or two decent pubs in Norwich where mild wouldn’t have been a problem, but we were there for other reasons rather than to drink beer. I realise that this might come as a bit of a shock to you, that there are other reasons to visit a place than just to drink the local fare, but we had other things to do. As a result I had to grab the odd pint where I could. The first place that I grabbed a pint was on the waterfront at a Wetherspoons pub, Lloyds Nº 1 Bar. For those that are not aware Wetherspoons is a large chain of pubs that offer value for money, usually a choice of half a dozen real ales, pub grub of consistent quality and often (but not always) decent quality beer. Not a mild to be seen. I had two good pints though:
- Coach House Cheshire Gold - golden in colour, this ale is brewed with Maris Otter barley, producing a clean, hoppy aftertaste. 4.1% abv
- Bateman's Valiant - a delicious golden beer with a clean and crisp flavour from which subtle malt & hop notes emerge, leading to a pleasing, zesty finish. 4.2% abv.
So two pubs picked effectively at random and not a single real mild on offer in either of them. How do CAMRA hope to promote mild if they can’t even persuade a big chain like Wetherspoons to support it ? I love mild, I always have, but it has a bit of a reputation of being an old man’s drink. If people would only try it (if they can), I know that they would be pleasantly surprised. Perhaps CAMRA need to work a bit more with companies rather than criticising them all the time.