When I started brewing I thought the first beer I made was world class. It blew my mind I could make something that good at home. Over time I became increasingly critical of my beer, but every once in awhile I brew something that brings back that old feeling from my early batches.
When the cap is popped the beer makes a very light hiss hinting at the low carbonation in the bottle. Midlands Mild pours espresso brown with a ruby hue. The off-white head is thin and frothy. I poured the beer mostly in the middle of the glass to help the head rouse. The retention isn’t great which is to be expected in a lightly carbonated beer.
A mild is a perfect canvas for English yeasts that produce fruity and floral esters, and this example is no exception. Notes of honey and melon are prominent in the aroma. There are also faint notes of cocoa lying in the background.
The low carbonation and high percentage of specialty malts give the beer a medium body with a creamy mouthfeel. The beer starts sweet, but the finish is sufficiently balanced with hop bitterness and roasted malt flavor. There is some cocoa powder and licorice in the finish, but nothing that by any means dominates a 3.5% alcohol by volume beer.
This beer is everything I wanted it to be. As a brewer formulating a recipe you start with an idea of how you want your beer to look, feel, and taste. When I brew something that finishes exactly how I intended it brings me back to when I first started brewing.
I shared this beer at a recent North Shore Brewers meeting. The meeting was to discuss cask ales. I brought Midlands Mild because its low carbonation is intended to replicate a cask ale in a bottle. The response was very positive at the meeting. I also threw in a bottle with some beer mail I sent to fan of the blog Todd S. in Minnesota. He gave the beer a more than respectable 3.75 on Untappd.
This is one of my favorite beers I have brewed. It is a beer that works in any season or occasion. There is nothing about the beer I would change. I developed the recipe and ordered the ingredients several months before I made time to brew the beer. When I revisited the recipe on brew day it looked overly complicated. I couldn’t figure out exactly what I was trying to accomplish with my ingredients and almost changed the recipe on they fly. Thankfully I did not.
I have hit on a new house recipe. Whenever I brew a mild it will be this recipe.