When I started going out drinking in Leicester as a 17 year old, I never really went for lager in a big way.  The only places it held the rule was when drinking at friend houses or pubs / clubs where I knew they didn’t keep a good pint of beer.  Otherwise I tended to go to pubs where I knew I could get a good pint of bitter or mild.  In those days it was a mainstream brand such as Boddingtons, Tetleys, John Smiths, or one of the offerings from the local brewing monopoly that is still Everards.  The first pub I regularly frequented was an pub well know to keep good beers, the Bricklayers Arms, just outside the town centre.  The Firkin chain of pubs also became a regular haunt for their selection of the chains own brew ales.

However in my local pub, one drink ruled for me for many years, Everards Mild.  Next month marks a new campaign from CAMRA to promote Mild as a drink throughout May.  This made me realise that it has been many years since I drank a “mild”.  I’ve been in plenty of ale pubs where there is one on offer over the years, but never been tempted to try it.  Just last week I passed over the Very Mild Monkey by Brass Monkey for other ales on the bar.  This I have done more than a few times looking back.  When I go back to my old local now, its normally a Guiness or Old Speckled Hen I order, even though that same mild is still on the bar.

My tastes are more focused towards heavily hopped and / or citrus flavoured beers now and this could be part of the reason I don’t give them a try.  However next time I see a good one on tap, I’ll give this neglected variety of beer another try.  That is in the future however, this weekend I got a chance to sample Saltaire Pale Trio (4.4%) at the Shoulder and Mutton in Southowram and its a great beer, very hoppy and tangy just as it says on the label.  It was a pity I only had time for 1 pint of it as another could happily have been consumed.  Its been a very good weekend for new beers with a pair of Abbeydale offerings also making the mark at the Red Rooster.  The “Desception” (4.1%) is a pale beer with fruity undertones and nice bitter aftertaste. “Belfrey” (4.5%) is a similar beer, maybe a touch crisper in its taste.

I also got a chance to try some more of Brewdogs offerings last week, but ran out of space to comment on them.  Sainsbury’s had their “Hardcore IPA” in stock, but seem to run out of “5am Saint”, their amber ale, week after week.  Hardcore IPA, described as an EIA, standing for Explicit Imperial Ale is not a session drink at 9.2%.  Described by them as “Hopped to hell, then dry hopped to hell”, they are not far wrong.  All of their beers are very hoppy, but this had more hops than a field full of rabbits in mating season.  At that strength you expect to be approaching a barley wine, but its still refreshing, light drinking for the strength, and gives more than an aftertaste of hops to finish as expected.

The same brewery are doing a 10% royal wedding celebration beer called “Royal Virility Performance”, containing viagra, horny goat weed and chocolate.  This one I think I’ll pass on based on the ingredients and the price at £10 per bottle.  However this does help counter one of the side effects of too much good ale.  This is not the strongest or most expensive beer they do however, Tactical Nuclear Penguin is 32% and £35 per 330ml bottle, Sink the Bismark is 41% and £40 for the same 330ml.

As well as doing this each week, I’m also involved with the Ram Fest music festival which is taking place on Sunday 3rd July at Southowram Cricket Club.  There are going to be at least 5 bands playing throughout the afternoon and evening along with a BBQ and outside bar.  On site will be childrens’ entertainment and charity stalls for local community organisations. The event also shares the proceeds with a nominated charity.  This is the events second year, so come down and have a good day and do your bit for charity.

Until next week, Happy Supping.