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Life's too short to be Bitter

August 17, 2016

The beers that dominate the landscape of most countries tends to be pale, bland lagers. Normally, there are at least five or six brands that occupy the same space and compete against each other, not on taste, but image. This technique has created the some of the world's most recognisable brands and some excellent tag-lines. These are the fashionable beers. The beers that you don't feel embarrassed to bring to a BBQ. The beers that make you feel safe. The beers you can reach for when in a strange country. The beers that are so familiar, they are like family. 

 

When I started drinking, I just didn't like the taste of lager. Not the lager that was available in the pub any how. The next drink in line from lager in the UK is bitter. John Smith's Bitter leads the way followed by mainstays such as Boddingtons and Tetley's. These are beers sold on their cool temperature, tight creamy head and ultra-smooth texture. Again, taste isn't really a feature the advertisers identify as a selling point. I drank my fair share of bitter but in a world of mainstream offerings, I was still searching for a pint of sessional beer that was easy to drink but had a decent taste profile. This is where it becomes very unfashionable. 

 

If you scan the room of a Northern English pub and identify those over the age of 60, they will often be supping on a pint of very unfashionable beer. So out of step with modernity, this beer is not available in most pubs and has completely disappeared from the taps of whole cities, particularly in the south of England where a request for it will often be met with a puzzled look. It doesn't help that the beer in question also has a name that is an adjective. But a good pint of this hard to find elixir is dark, nutty, fruity and very sessionable weighing in at 3% - 3.5%. Of course, the beer in question is Mild. 

 

It was my go to beer in my early twenties. Tasty, cheap and you could drink it all night long without getting into too much bother. However, I did take a lot of stick from my friends for drinking a beer that was didn't have an enormous marketing budget or widespread appeal. As they stood cocksure with bottles of Corona costing three sheets a bottle, I savoured the pints of Mild at a fraction of the cost, whilst holding it close to warm it a little to further improve its appeal. So, if you're in your twenties, drink what you believe in and maybe we can save beers like Mild from disappearing altogether. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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