Today marks the start of CAMRA's annual mild month. During this month pubs make an extra effort to put more milds through their pumps, and events are held to celebrate this much underrated drink.
I'm a big fan of mild and am lucky to have two of the very best brewed on my doorstep: Potbelly Beijing Black, and Great Oakley Welland Valley Mild. There will, no doubt, be an abundance of these two beers in my local decent freehouses. I would prefer it however if a changing mild was a permanent sign at better pubs. The volumes drank during May suggest that it's an admired style, and the (usually) low alcohol content makes it an ideal beer for a session.
I'm not sure who is to blame for the relative scarcity of mild during the other eleven months of the year. Is it the consumer who would rather drink other types of ale; the publican who is nervous whether it's salable; or the brewer who doesn't produce enough of it.
I think that the current fashion of calling mild by another name as Lees have done with their Brewers Dark, and Everards have done with their latest beer is probably going to see an upturn in sales.
It's a real shame though that brewers feel that they have to do this. I prefer to call a spade a spade.
I've not been to a pub today but I'll try to keep an eye out for milds during the month, and let you know the best I sample in early June.