It has always been something that has intrigued me; the fact that the beer world likes to defend traditional quirks that seem to be in decline. The Pub, for instance, that long established British tradition of the local is under threat as we well know. I view these things as an unfortunate inevitability. Large establishments like Wetherspoons who provide cost effective drinking places and ever more competition for the spare pounds in our pocket, shout as we will, pubs will continue to close.
It's May, apparently. We should all be drinking mild, apparently. I ought to be brewing mild if I listened to the supporters of that particular beer style. But I haven't brewed a mild for ages, and I'm certainly unlikely to brew it again any time soon. It's not out of defiance of the concept of mild or to attempt to antagonise the mild supporters, they are entitled to champion their preferred beer if that is their wish, I just don't really want to be part of it.
I have brewed mild, and some have even commented that it was one of the very best milds they have ever tasted. Unfortunately, whenever anyone who was an expert1 on mild tasted mine they re-classified it as a porter. You see, I like to brew progressive beer with flavour rather than to conform to some traditional stylistic ideal that is better consigned to the dustbin.
It is possible to brew a truly fantastic mild. Further more, some very exceptional, award-winning pale beers classify as light milds and don't need a special month to promote them.
However, most people think of mild as a low gravity dark beer that tastes of nothing very much, doesn't keep well and just isn't worth the bother. Moreover, the style is much better suited to winter months rather than the typically nice weather that we tend to get in May.
Now, you'll have to excuse me, I have some beer to transfer to conditioning tank where it will mingle with a large amount of American varieties of dry hops.
1Expert = Ex Spurt - a former drip under pressure. Just don't start thinking in terms of bodily fluids......