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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Hunting the Elusive Mild Ale

For this book project that still cannot be named, I'll be discussing style. I've lately been looking into mild ales, a beer with very little presence in the US. The only milds I've seen brewed in the Northwest came from Brewers Union--which, despite its many virtues, doesn't get, ah, broad distribution. Maybe you can help.
  1. Can you point me to any American mild ales, particularly ones brewed either seasonally or (best case) as a part of a brewery's regular line? I don't expect to find any, but bottled examples would be especially useful.
  2. Do you know of any examples imported to the US?
I'm looking for more traditional modern examples. I know the style has a fair amount of latitude, but I'd like to locate some that are more typical--probably dark, definitely low-alcohol, probably not very hoppy. But let's not start with the narrow end of the funnel. I'll start with anything.


Okobojicat said...

I had a Mild at Yak and Yeti, a fantastic Brewpub in Arvada, CO. Delicious Tibetan/North Indian Food (those that have lived in South India know there is a difference) and delicious beer.

The mild was ok. Kind of boring, but it is also supposed to be. Their Pilsner and IPA (Gold, 2010 GABF) are to die for.

Kelly said...

Surly Brewing has a Mild Ale

DA Beers said...

I'd start with this:


You'd probably have to do a bit of checking up on each one, but might get you started.

The Beer Nut said...

Does it have to say "mild" on it? Surely the likes of Brooklyn Brown and Sierra Nevada Tumbler are what answer to British mild in the US.

Brewers Union Local 180 said...

A gremlin told me that a cask of a dark mild will be at Belmont Station on the 15th.

Jeff Alworth said...

Derek, the problem with that is I can't tell whether they're one-offs, regulars, in production, or long dead. But I did have a gander before posting this.

Everyone else--thanks and keep 'em coming.

Okobojicat, I dissent strongly with the idea that milds are supposed to be boring.

Zac said...

This may not help, but a nano brewery here in middle Missouri still in search of funding will be brewing a mild in their regular lineup. Like I said, this info may not help now, but it might in the near future. Check out Hellbender Brewing in Columbia, MO.

I'm Bill Howell. said...

My local brewpub, St. Elias Brewing Company, has made a Mild as a summer seasonal. Here's the blurb from their website:

Marathon Mild

Mild has deep roots in English brewing history. It became the common drink amongst early Welsh coal miners and steel workers, being tagged the

ale of the working class. Mild ale is thought to be one of the “three threads,” where early pub owners would mix mild ale, pale ale and old ale to make what we now know as porter. Marathon Mild is a tribute to the blue collar workers of the defunct Marathon Motor Works Company in Nashville, TN, where Marathon cars were produced from 1911-1914. Our brewer worked at Yazoo Brewing Company, which was nestled in this historic factory. Marathon Mild is light in body, with a rich caramel, dark fruit, finish. The hops play a background role in this beer, serving just to balance. This “session beer” weighs in at 3.88% ABV.

Nick said...

Beer Valley has a Mild. I think Ive seen it at Belmont Station I know I've seen it at the 39th/Hawthorne FM. I'm not sure how true it is to style though.

lupulinlibations said...

Surly Mild is a seasonal that, according to the brewery website, is available in February. I've had it, and it's quite tasty. I believe it is only available on draught.

Josh said...

Utah has two breweries that make English Mild's, Red Rock Brewing Co. and Desert Edge Brewpub. Neither are bottled, sadly. I was actually surprised more didn't because tap beers are low-alcohol (4.0 abv) and milds seem like a natural fit for a Utah brewery.

what we’re drinking said...

Two I can think of, one of which should be more readily available to you:

Steffan's Aldergrove Brewery in Tulalip, WA makes one called Brown Eyed Girl British Mild Ale. I bought a couple of bottles at Bottleworks in Seattle last (not this) Xmas.

Weasel Boy Brewing in Zanesville, OH also makes one called River Mink Mild Brown Ale. It is currently listed as being on tap on their website (http://www.weaselboybrewing.com/wb/ontap.aspx).

Both were good examples of the style.

Chance said...

Jester King Brewery here in Austin, TX has a Oaked Dark Mild that is full of flavor and is one of their regular beers. They don't bottle it but it is on plenty of taps around town and in Dallas and Houston. It comes in at 3.5%.

Description from the website:
A true “session beer”, Commercial Suicide is an authentic English dark mild with notes of caramel, coffee and chocolate. A portion of each batch is aged in medium toast American oak barrels, lending very subtle toasted, oaky notes to the finished beer.

MT said...

I believe Double Mountain's Dapper Dan was styled along the lines of a dark mild. However, it doesn't show up as either a regular or seasonal offering on the DM website....oh well.

Kevin said...


A couple good bottled milds off the top of my head are Black Cat from Moorhouse's Brewery (UK) and Brawler from Yards Brewing in Philly.

You might be able to find Black Cat in Portland, but Brawler will probably require some wheeling and/or dealing.

Oh, and I never responded to your comment about Jester King, but it looks like Chance is a fan.

Beer and Coding

Jay Zeis said...

If you come out east, Oliver Ales has Dark Horse, a dark mild. He's an English brewer, and it is supposed to be pretty close to style

Taborator said...

I'm pretty sure Alameda had a mild seasonal not too long ago.

Beerford McBrewin' said...

Alaskan Brewery was doing a mild as of last year, not sure if it's back for 2011 or not.

Melissa Cole said...

NOLA brown, fantastic English-style mild

damon said...

British Columbia had a very good mild called Shaftesbury Cream Ale. It got purchased by a macro and now is a shell of it's former self.

Also interesting is that the marketers called it a cream ale because they didn't think the public would go for something called mild. Because of the beer's subsequent success, you will frequently get a mild, or something similar to a mild, when you order a cream ale in this part of Canada.

olllllo said...

Milds don't sell well or so we're told by brewpubs and breweries and yet this is among your most commented posts.

Analysis please!

Jeff Alworth said...

Again, everybody, thanks so much for the input. I'm in the process of following up on many of these suggestions (but don't stop if you have more!).

ollllo, it's because uber beer geeks read blogs for one and because the people who read this one are really cool for two.

BC said...

Would love to hear what you find on your hunt for Milds here in America! Would love to find some beers that are "well-balanced," as opposed to a hop-bomb or boozy wreck!

wallace said...

Hair of the Dogs little dog series - the current little dog is a second run on Adam -I guess its a small beer but its dark, not too hoppy, low abv and quaff-able.

olllllo said...

This from the twitters today:


Awesome! We are releasing our 3.2% mild today! Swing by for our prohibiton party, $3.20 pints of mild and @swingingkitchen for din

Fullerton, CA USA

Anonymous said...

Jeff, does Anchor Small Beer count? I believe it's ABV is around 3-3.5%?


Chris said...

I realize we're not quite North-West, but in Toronto, Cheshire Valley (http://www.cheshirevalleybrewing.com/)makes a mild, proper. Paul is a known master of English styles around here. Ralph at Volo (http://www.barvolo.com/) is also brewing milds in his line of house ales. None in bottles though, sorry.

Brady Walen | The Daily Pull said...

Have you looked into Goose Island's Mild Winter?


At 5.6% it's definitely brewed for the season. But it's available in bottles, and was one of my seasonal favorites in Chicago.

Anonymous said...


Yard's Brewing makes a dark Mild:


Alan Berkeley said...

Eagle Rock Brewery in LA has "Solidarity Black Mild".

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