Mildly interesting (1)

This year’s Mild Magic – Stockport and South Manchester’s annual promotion of mild – is being run on a points-based, er, basis: participating pubs have been assigned a points value, ranging from 1 to 3, and the target is not merely to hit 12 (or 24, or 48) pubs but to rack up 24 (or 48, or 100) points. There is no prize for visiting all the pubs on the list – this is probably just as well, as there are 92 of them. This in itself represents quite a feat of organisation on the part of local CAMRA volunteers, considering that Robinson’s – previously a mainstay of the mild trail – stopped producing mild a matter of weeks before this year’s MM began, necessitating quite a few substitutions. As a result there are considerably more new venues in this year’s trail than usual, including some which are decidedly off the beaten track (not only Stalybridge Labour Club but also Flixton Conservative Club).

Here are a few notes on my MM2015 travels. A first trawl of the city centre, concentrating mainly on 2-point pubs, was fairly uneventful.

Sandbar, unusually for them, didn’t have Moorhouse’s Black Cat on; they did, however, have Privateer Dark Revenge, which isn’t sold as a mild but is dark enough and (alcoholically) light enough to qualify. They also had RedWillow Smokeless, so I stayed for a half of that. Mmm, RedWillow.

The (Boggart-owned) Arndale Micro Bar had really entered into the spirit of the thing, by putting on Boggart Dark Mild – a nice dark mild with a bit of body.

Sadly, the same can’t really be said of Holt’s Mild – a very light (3.2%) dark mild, which I had at the Old Monkey, the Ape and Apple and the Crown and Anchor. All three had Bootleg beers on the bar, but I wasn’t tempted enough to try them. I hit the C&A on St George’s Day & was surrounded by blokes celebrating it, a couple in full costume and the rest in St George’s flag t-shirts. The slogan on the back read “England – love it or f*** off”, with St George’s crosses for the asterisks. Nice.

In the Grey Horse – tiny but oddly welcoming, as ever – I had a half of Hyde’s 1863, as you do, and stayed for a half of something more interesting, as you do. They have a pretty good range of guest & Beer Studio beers now – remarkable really, considering the size of the place.

A bit of a low-key start, then. Next, I hit Altrincham.

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