Style Details

Dark Mild
Brown Bri­tish Beer
BJCP Style Code
13 A
Cop­per to dark brown or maho­ga­ny color. A few paler examp­les (medi­um amber to light brown) exist. Gene­ral­ly clear, alt­hough is tra­di­tio­nal­ly unfil­te­red. Low to mode­ra­te off-white to tan head; reten­ti­on may be poor.
Low to mode­ra­te malt aro­ma, and may have some frui­tin­ess. The malt expres­si­on can take on a wide ran­ge of cha­rac­ter, which can include cara­mel, tof­fee, grai­ny, toas­ted, nut­ty, cho­co­la­te, or light­ly roas­ted. Litt­le to no hop aro­ma, ear­thy or flo­ral if pre­sent. Very low to no diacetyl.
Gene­ral­ly a mal­ty beer, alt­hough may have a very wide ran­ge of malt- and yeast-based fla­vors (e.g., mal­ty, sweet, cara­mel, tof­fee, toast, nut­ty, cho­co­la­te, cof­fee, roast, fruit, lico­ri­ce, plum, rai­sin). Can finish sweet to dry. Ver­si­ons with dar­ker malts may have a dry, roas­ted finish. Low to mode­ra­te bit­ter­ness, enough to pro­vi­de some balan­ce but not enough to over­power the malt. Frui­ty esters mode­ra­te to none. Diace­tyl and hop fla­vor low to none.
Light to medi­um body. Gene­ral­ly low to medi­um-low car­bo­na­ti­on. Roast-based ver­si­ons may have a light astrin­gen­cy. Swee­ter ver­si­ons may seem to have a rather full mouth­feel for the gravity.
Over­all Impression
A dark, low-gra­vi­ty, malt-focu­sed Bri­tish ses­si­on ale rea­di­ly sui­ted to drin­king in quan­ti­ty. Refres­hing, yet fla­vorful, with a wide ran­ge of dark malt or dark sugar expression.
Typi­cal Ingredients
Style Com­pa­ri­son: Some ver­si­ons may seem like lower-gra­vi­ty modern Eng­lish por­ters. Much less sweet than Lon­don Brown Ale.
His­to­ri­cal­ly, ‘mild’ was sim­ply an unaged beer, and could be used as an adjec­ti­ve to distin­gu­ish bet­ween aged or more high­ly hop­ped kee­ping beers. Modern milds trace their roots to the wea­k­er X-type ales of the 1800s, alt­hough dark milds did not appear until the 20th cen­tu­ry. In cur­rent usa­ge, the term impli­es a lower-strength beer with less hop bit­ter­ness than bit­ters. The gui­de­lines descri­be the modern Bri­tish ver­si­on. The term ‘mild’ is curr­ent­ly some­what out of favor with con­su­mers, and many bre­we­ries no lon­ger use it. Incre­asing­ly rare. The­re is no his­to­ric con­nec­tion or rela­ti­onship bet­ween Mild and Porter.
Most are low-gra­vi­ty ses­si­on beers around 3.2%, alt­hough some ver­si­ons may be made in the stron­ger (4%+) ran­ge for export, fes­ti­vals, sea­so­nal and/or spe­cial occa­si­ons. Gene­ral­ly ser­ved on cask; ses­si­on-strength bot­t­led ver­si­ons don’t often tra­vel well. A wide ran­ge of inter­pre­ta­ti­ons are pos­si­ble. Pale ver­si­ons exist, but the­se are even more rare than dark milds; the­se gui­de­lines only descri­be the modern dark version.
Com­mer­cial Examples
Banks’s Mild, Cain’s Dark Mild, High­ga­te Dark Mild, Brain’s Dark, Moor­house Black Cat, Rud­gate Ruby Mild, Theaks­ton Tra­di­tio­nal Mild
Ori­gi­nal Gravity
1.030 - 1.038 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.008 - 1.013 SG
12 - 25 SRM
3.0 - 3.0 %vol
10 - 25 IBU