What Contemporary Brewery Makes Two Different Mild Ales? Take a Guess
At the start of the year, we posted about our excellent British Mild, a very traditional mild ale seldom seen in these IPA-crazy times. These beers were among the most popular in England until the second half of the twentieth century. Tastes changed, but the quality of what was called mild started to decline as well.
A short digression on “the utiliser”:
Regular patrons of the Civil Life are accustomed to the finest quality ales and lagers produced and served anywhere, so they might find this hard to believe, but unscrupulous publicans often employed shady practices to increase their profits at the expense of beer quality and the beer drinker’s experience. A nefarious device known as the utiliser was employed to recycle mixed beer slops into a pail in the cellar, where it was repackaged and sold as … mild ale. Oh, the horror!
Fellow drinker, those days are happily behind us. But the past still has much to teach us, especially about forgotten beer styles. So enamored were we with mild ale as a style, that we fashioned a second one: Ruby Mild Ale. It is about to return to discerning palates throughout St. Louis.
So how does Ruby Mild differ from our original mild? The name highlights a difference in color. Both beers are brown, but the ruby has a decidedly reddish cast, especially in the light. We add some cara-red and chocolate malts for color. The base grains are traditionally malted English barley strains: maris otter and optic (a spring version of maris otter). We use our standard English pale ale yeast strain (the dark mild uses an ESB yeast strain). The EPA yeast strain produces a crisper beer, that’s dry with a subtle apple fruit note. Our Ruby Mild Ale is hopped with phoenix, an English variety with floral, piney, and spicy notes.
Both Rudgate Brewery and the Sarah Hughes Brewery in England currently brew a ruby mild, but the style is by no means common. Thankfully, American craft breweries are keeping these styles alive, especially those of us passionate about brewing traditional beers for the modern palate.
Come down and enjoy a pint of traditional Ruby Mild Ale in our authentic English pub atmosphere and be transported to a different time and place, where civility reigns, tasty session beers abound, and the malevolent forces of blaring television devices, insipid light beers, and belligerent drunkards are not to be found. We’ll say it again: Be Civil. Drink Civil.
Dr. Patrick Hurley of Tower Grove South
The Civil Blog has returned. It is predominantly authored by Civil Life Barman, Dr. Patrick Hurley, who can be found tending to our bar patrons on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He is also responsible for tending to our draft lines, which is recognized as one of our most important tasks. Special guest writers will appear from time to time. We hope reading this blog will give you much insight about the Civil Life and most importantly help you understand a bit more about all of us that work here and the beers we put our hearts into.