Throughout the month of May, CAMRA promotes mild. This ancient style of beer is usually dark in colour as a result of using well-roasted malts and barley, which also give mild its characteristic nutty and chocolate flavours. Although many milds tend to be lower in alcohol (around the 3.5% ABV mark), its name actually refers to the fact that these beers are only very lightly hopped, leading to a milder taste than most bitters. Mild’s popularity has declined sharply over the past few decades, but some notable examples still in production include Timothy Taylor’s Golden Best, Thwaites’ Nutty Black and Banks’s Original.
Although cask-conditioned mild is certainly not the most popular style around Sheffield and the surrounding areas, there is still some to be found for those who want to try some this May. Many of the Thwaites pubs in the city (for example, the Old Queens Head on Pond Hill, the Peacock Inn at Stannington and the Old Horns Inn, High Bradfield) offer Nutty Black. The Kelham Island Tavern always has at least one mild available and milds have recently been found on the handpumps at both Shakespeares and the Rutland Arms. Why not give mild a chance this month?