Monday, 25 January 2010
In which I refuse to wait until May to enjoy a drop of mild
And then we had Burton Bridge’s mild coming on at Woods on Friday and hasn’t it flown out of the tap this weekend. Will the barman was so chuffed that he couldn’t stop humming (a Good Pub Guide entry once described him as the ‘singing barman’), while even those whose normal lubrication was cider tried the stuff and pronounced it a good drop. ‘I didn’t know they still made mild,’ was a common refrain, that suggests CAMRA still has a long way to go in promoting mild (never understood why May was the promotional time for mild, cause for me at that time of the year as the earth wakes up I want beers the colour of sunshine, beers bearing great big bunches of tropical fruit on the nose).
‘All sorts of folk have been ordering it,’ beamed Will in between songs. Another regular said that it was the colour of bonfire toffee, which then provoked another conversation about what on earth was bonfire toffee and was it still being made. What it does prove is that people, if given the chance, will talk about beer in the same way as they talk about wine, even out here in Exmoor, where the weather is all too often the tropic of conversation. Oh and what was it like? For the record the mild was scrumptious and this weekend I have done my best to pay it proper homage (even the other half enjoyed a drop, but then she used to drink Old Peculier at college) — it was earthy, chocolatey, sooty, mocha coffee-like and vinous, in possession of a good body and crackling with a dry chewy finish. Burton Bridge I salute you.
The picture shows Will at the bar and I could say it was conceptual but I’m just a rubbish snapper.