Mild Ale History with Martyn Cornell – BeerSmith Podcast #233

by Brad Smith on March 31, 2021 · 0 comments

Beer historian Martyn Cornell joins me this week to discuss the history of English Mild Ale which was the dominant UK beer style for nearly 80 years.

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Topics in This Week’s Episode (48:22)

  • This week I welcome first time guest Martyn Cornell. Martyn has been writing about the history of beer for more than 20 years and is a multiple trophy winner of both the North American Guild of Beer Writers and British Guild of Beer Writers.
  • Martyn is the author of the book Amber, Gold & Black: The History of Britain’s Great Beers (Amazon affiliate link).
  • We discuss the brief history of Porter which preceded Mild as the most popular beer style in the 18th and first half of the 19th century.
  • Martyn explains the reign of British mild which became popular in the 1880’s and remained the top beer until the 1960’s – and now is almost extinct.
  • He discusses the beer itself and how it was brewed throughout the period. The style did change substantially becoming weaker particularly after WWI due to taxes and shortages of ingredients.
  • We talk about the ingredients and techniques used to brew the beer and why it was served quickly.
  • Martyn provides a few tips for those looking to brew a British mild.
  • He explains what ultimately replaced Milds as well as provides his closing thoughts.


Thanks to Martyn Cornell for appearing on the show and also to you for listening!
iTunes Announcements: I launched a new video channel for the BeerSmith podcast on iTunes, so subscribe now! At the moment it will only feature the new widescreen episodes (#75 and up). Older episodes are available on my revamped Youtube channel. Also all of my audio episodes are on iTunes now – so grab the older episodes if you missed any.

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