Beer of the Week – Strathaven Craigmill Mild

Posted by on May 26, 2017 in Beer of the Week | One Comment

Every Friday throughout 2017 I will be publishing a blog post shining a spotlight on a specific beer that I think deserves greater attention – these are the 52 unsung heroes of brewing in Scotland. Just in time for the weekend; an update on a beer that if you don’t already know then maybe you should seek it out (no pressure) and give it a go. For this edition, on the cusp of the warmest weekend of the year – a mild!

The Campaign for Real Ale promotes this beer style during May to increase awareness of a type of beer being brewed more infrequently than ever – and this is a shame (the scarcity, not the campaign) as milds are fantastic, easy-drinking and help take the edge off the hottest of days, in that weird cup-of-tea-on-a-hot-day vibe. It sounds daft, but having a beer as good as this on a warm day does work – and that beer in particular is the brilliant Strathaven Craigmill Mild.

21. Craigmill Mild (3.5%)
Strathaven Ales, Strathaven
Style: Mild
500 ml bottle

Pick it up here:
At Strathaven’s online shop (as a case of 12x500ml bottles)
At Real Ale Warehouse (as individual 500ml bottles)

There’s little room to hide with a mild, by their nature the body isn’t going to carry the day as with a beefier stout – but Strathaven’s gets around this by pushing everything into the front end, giving a huge whack of dark roasty coffee up front rather than on the aftertaste. There’s bitter chocolate in there as well and the American hops help to emphasise this bitterness by carrying the beer on for much longer than you might expect.

The bottom line is that this beer is a real treat all round, and a perfect depiction of the style for anyone unfamiliar. With the lightness of body and bitter roasted malt flavour it has a versatility about it – serve cold from the fridge and it has the makings of a refreshing dark lager, the bitter coffee and chocolate flavours reminiscent of a Schwarzbier. But at room temperature the richer, warmly roasty elements come to the fore and the beer changes again. Craigmill is (in my eyes) very simply the best mild in Scotland.

Beer of the Week Series:
1. Fyne Ales Highlander
2. Swannay Old Norway
3. Broughton Old Jock
4. Traquair House Ale
5. Tempest Easy Livin Pils
6. Cromarty Brewed Awakening
7. Fallen Chew Chew
8. Black Isle Hibernator
9. Isle of Skye Red
10. Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Engineer’s Reserve
11. Orkney Skull Splitter
12. Windswept Wolf
13. Kelburn Dark Moor
14. Alechemy 5ive Sisters
15. Loch Ness Light Ness
16. St Andrews Eighty Bob
17. Harviestoun The Ridge
18. Orkney Dark Island
19. Williams Bros Seven Giraffes
20. Cairngorm Black Gold

1 Comment

  1. James Tulloch
    May 26, 2017

    Nice post. I’ve not tried Strathaven’s Craigmill Mild but will seek it out now. Do you think it’s even better than Fyne Ales’ Vital Spark? Admittedly Vital Spark is difficult to categorise, but it’s arguably a mild – albeit a hoppy one.

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