Dark Mild

Dark mild, or in ye ole times, essentially a porter (which was the most popular beer in England in the late 18th century). Mild ales were separated from “stale” porter, which had been kept in wooden vats for as much as six months to over a year. The mild ale was originally used to designate any beer which was young, fresh or unaged and did not refer to a specific style of beer. At that time, there was mild ale but also mild porter and even mild bitter.

The porter became less popular when the IPA came along. More of the beer that was brewed was newer, rather than kept and blended (unless it was being shipped to India, then of course it was aged). By the second half of the eighteenth century, most brewers were producing pale ales of one sort or another, and the popularity of porter and stout had waned drastically. So they had to come up with another name for their brown, non-porter beers, and “mild ale” was the term they chose.

The alcohol strength was also higher up until taxes in the early 1900s lowered the ABV (one of the large reasons IPAs as we know it in England ceased to exist and now the bitter and lower gravity beers is the more popular choice).

The gravity is low on these, starting around 1.035 or so, and having an ABV of about 3%-3.5%. The dark mild is course dark, but still should not be too thin and a nice malty complexity. From the BJCP guidelines on the flavor: “Generally a malty beer, although may have a very wide range of malt- and yeast-based flavors (e.g., malty, sweet, caramel, toffee, toast, nutty, chocolate, coffee, roast, fruit, licorice, plum, raisin). Can finish sweet to dry. Versions with darker malts may have a dry, roasted finish. Low to moderate bitterness, enough to provide some balance but not enough to overpower the malt.”

My shot at this:


Batch Size: .75 Gallons
OG: 1.031
SRM: 21
Est ABV: 3%-ish
IBUs: 20
Boil Time: 60 Min

12 oz (70%) – Maris Otter
4.5 oz (26%) – Crystal 80L
0.5 oz (3%) – Chocolate Malt

70 Min @ 155F

.10 oz (14 IBUs) East Kent Goldings (5% AA) @ 45 Min
.10 oz (6 IBUs) East Kent Goldings (5% AA) @ 10 Min


Here’s what went down:

Brewed 11/11/17

12/9/17 Tasting notes:

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