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Published on August 28th, 2013 | by Nottingham Drinker

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Mild Trail 2013 Feedback

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I have always been a fan of mild. Given a choice at a pub I would always make a beeline to it. My first job as bar staff was at The Corner Pin, Long Eaton serving up the finest Shipstone’s ale. My tipple of choice very soon became a pint of mix. Although I no longer drink a lot of ale I still love Mild and it’s sweet, ruby gorgeousness.

This is why I think the Mild Trail is about the best idea ever: not only does it mean loads of mild it also means collecting stickers which the geek in me loves!

After receiving two bronze certificates and one silver it felt like this was the year to finally go for Black Gold, a challenge I never thought possible before due to lack of time (running a pub takes a fair bit of work!) When you break the task down however it seems more attainable. Black Gold = 1 pub a day + 8 spares. So the idea was to get on my bike, jump on a few buses and finally go and see some of the pubs I’ve been reading about in the Nottingham Drinker for so long.

The Mild Trail seems to grow stronger each year. I remember about four years ago a quick tour of 8 pubs in the city centre yielded about 50% bitter consumption and 50% Rock Mild. I love Rock Mild but it seems to me the Trail should be about variation. In more recent years there have been so many different, brilliant Milds on it’s been thoroughly fantastic. This year was exceptional – with 50 pubs visited there were very few ‘repeats’ and only two pubs with bitter substitutes. Kudos to all the licensees involved.

Highlights? Partner’s ‘Mungo’ was exceptionally dreamy and Falstaff’s ‘Socrates’ (a 6% Mild! Make mine a half!). Sadly the beer perfection that is Rudgate Ruby Mild wasn’t spotted this year (well aside from the one I ‘strongly suggested’ Cain got in for our May Beer Festival…)

It was touch and go for a while towards the end of the trail, the weather hadn’t been so good and a lot of planned bike rides out to Ruddington and Ilkeston had fallen by the wayside, but with an extra little push… MADE IT. I had my 50th and final Mild in The Dunkirk. I saved Reg till last – support your local!

So a round of applause for all involved and a little insider information for you at CAMRA. Our biggest Mild fans are our younger customers, to the point where we time Mild, Stouts and Porters to hit the bar for our Tuesday quiz night when our customer average age is at its lowest. They cannot get enough of the stuff. There’s a new generation of Mild lovers out there so keep the Mild Trail up CAMRA, they’re headed your way.

Zoe from The Johnson Arms

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I took part in my first Mild Trail last year and I ended up getting the gold certificate after visiting 35 pubs. This year my aim was simply to visit more pubs than last year. I ended up visiting 67, 3 of them being lucky dips. 21 of the 67 were pubs that I had never been in before. That is one of the best things about the Mild Trail, not only does it promote mild; it encourages you to go to places and pubs that you wouldn’t necessarily go to otherwise. Of the places I hadn’t been to before, the Marlpool Tap was my favourite. I was made to feel very welcome and it has a real home from home atmosphere, it is definitely a place that I will make more of an effort to visit in the future.

As well as the 67 pubs on the Nottingham trail, I visited 10 pubs on the Vale of Belvoir trail. It is well worth visiting the pubs in this area, there are some real hidden gems set in beautiful surroundings.

If you haven’t taken part in the Mild Trail before, I urge you to get involved in 2014!

Leanne Rhodes Nottingham CAMRA



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