We head to the U.K., where brewer and pub operator Brakspear is brewing the original recipe for Brakspear Mild at its Bell Street Brewery, which was last brewed in 1996 at the New Street Brakspear brewery.
Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said, “We opened the Bell Street Brewery in order to bring brewing back to Henley, and it has been a delight to restore some of the most popular Brakspear beers and allow drinkers locally to enjoy them again. Both Brakspear Special and Old Ale have been hugely popular and we’re expecting Mild to be a similar success.”
A dark brown ale with a reddish tinge, Brakspear Mild has a chocolate taste with a hint of caramel and a delicate bitterness. It is brewed with Crystal, Amber and Chocolate malts and Minstrel hops.
“Recreating beers from the original recipes has been an interesting challenge and we’re pleased with the results,” said Malcolm Mayo, Brakspear head brewer. “The beers have found favor both with drinkers who remember them from days gone by and with younger consumers discovering them for the first time.”
Alex Koniotes, licensee of the Perch & Pike in South Stoke near Henley, attended a pre-launch tasting of Mild with a handful of his regulars.
“We were first in the queue to taste Mild, and it brought back memories for a few of us,” he said. “We’ve never had a Mild in the pub before, but the Brakspear name has real appeal round here and our customers have enjoyed Special and Old Ale. The Mild is a good beer and I think it’ll taste even better once it’s gone through final conditioning in the pub cellar; we’re looking forward to having it on the bar.”
Brakspear Mild, a 3 percent ABV beer, is available exclusively to Brakspear pubs until the end of March and joins a growing stable of beers recreated at the Henley microbrewery by head brewer Malcolm Mayo. Brakspear Old Ale, reintroduced in winter 2014, was brought back last year, while Brakspear Special, the first beer out of the Bell Street Brewery in 2013, is now brewed there year round in response to local demand.
As well as the Perch & Pike, Brakspear Mild is currently available in around half a dozen pubs in and around Henley.