Mild Magic comes to Tameside for beer lovers

TAMESIDE pubs are offering beer fans a mild way of enjoying their day by taking part in an anniversary ale trail.

Mild Magic, organised the Stockport and South Manchester branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), is back for its 30th year from April 12 – May 19.

And venues in the borough are taking part, with Stalybridge’s Station Buffet Bar, The White House and Bridge Beers being joined by locations in Ashton-under Lyne, Dukinfield and Hyde.

Stalybridge Buffet bar

Mild is a beer style which developed in the late 18th and 19th centuries and is usually dark brown in colour, but rarer light-coloured varieties do exist.

Nationally, it has been in decline for many years. However, the Manchester area still has local breweries still produce it.

One is Mild Magic sponsor Hydes, who brew both Dark Ruby, a 3.5 per cent dark mild, as well as the 3.5 per cent 1863, a rare example of a light mild.

In addition, this year they are resurrecting some old recipes, including the 3.9 per cent Anvil Light Ale which will be available in May.

All these can be sought out at the White House and the Q, in Stalybridge.

Joseph Holt’s brewery supply their cask mild to around a dozen pubs and for the third year running will be brewing a special ‘one-off’ for Mild Magic.

At four per cent, their paler Mellow Mild is stronger than their regular mild and is characterised by rich caramel aromas, balanced sweetness, and a satisfyingly bitter finish.

You can try it at the Queens in Hyde.

Bridge Beers will be offering both their dark and golden milds, which will feature widely, as well as at their tap in Stalybridge, while the famous Station Buffet Bar will feature a mild amongst their large choice.

Participants in Mild Magic can win prizes of bespoke clothing, and beer vouchers to exchange for mild ale at the Stockport Beer and Cider Festival, which takes place from June 20-22.

97 venues in Greater Manchester are divided into 71 different geographical areas and to win a T-shirt featuring this year’s Mild Magic logo, plus two half-pint mild vouchers, all you have to do is visit 12 in 12 different areas, then drink at least half pint of mild and collect a sticker to put on the collector card which is available in the pubs, or can be downloaded.

There are enhanced prizes of polo shirts and sweatshirts, plus more beer vouchers, for visiting 24, 48, or all 97 pubs.

CAMRA Branch Chair John Clarke said, “From starting life in 1994 as a celebration of the widespread local availability of mild, Mild Magic essentially became a search and rescue operation as one brewery after another dropped the style.

“For example, the 1999 Ale Trail coincided with the announcement that Boddingtons were axing their mild, and, later, Robinsons stopped brewing their cask mild.

“In more recent years, there seems to have been something of a revival, with many smaller brewers having a mild available for short periods.

“The 1999 Mild Trail would have had around 20 different milds available during the five-week run – last year there were around 70.”

Organiser Darren Berry added: “The Mild Magic organising team is very grateful to our sponsor, Hydes Brewery, and to all the other breweries that will be producing milds this spring.

“Thanks also to the pubs which have agreed to take part. Please support them and enjoy yourselves seeking out this rare ale style.”

Full details of the pubs and terms and conditions are on the Stockport and South Manchester CAMRA website, where collector cards can also be downloaded.


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