The mild ale.
There was a fantastic brewery in St. Pete that adored the mild ale, and they did a great job of pushing it, but I don’t think they’re around anymore (for the time being at the very least).
That’s a shame, since they really carried the torch for the Mild Ale in Florida craft beer, and it’s a style that I think can do a lot and that brewers can do a lot with. Provided brewers actually make them. Because they just don’t happen that often.
I was happy to see one on the tap list at Sailfish Brewing in Ft. Pierce, and I was a little bit surprised when Mullet Run (Mild Ale, 4.6% ABV, 22 IBU) came up as a Dark Mild.
Let me try to set the scene for you. A mild ale feels like a brown ale, without the nuttiness and with very low to mild Noble hops, but a good amount of depth in the malt bill. It doesn’t go so far as an Amber Ale or a Porter, but this is not something simple like a Cream Ale or a Kolsch.
It’s very gentle, very smooth, intensely focused on the malt and yeast more than the hops or any adjuncts. With a dark mild, such as Mullet Run, those malt flavors are a little bit more pronounced. Almost getting to a Munich Dunkel, but somehow not as sweet.
This dark mild ale pours a deep reddish brown. Not completely dark, but getting pretty close to it. When you drink it, it’s got a bite that is rich and spicy, almost as if you took a lot of grated nut flavors (e.g. nutmeg or coriander) and put those into the beer. Those flavors tend to carry the beer, as there’s a little malt sweetness that tends to be more like a rye bread.
No rye malt, of course, but a lot of that sort of deep flavor to it. It’s an interesting flavor combination, one that I really enjoyed, one that I think is very easy to mess up and Sailfish nailed it perfectly.
Is this a beer that I think a lot of people are going to go for? I think once they try it and once they understand the style it can be one of those perennial favorites. But because it is an outlier within an outlier, it tends to probably be overlooked a good bit. I am hoping that this is not the case when talking about this beer from Sailfish but that will remain to be seen.
In the meantime, I have absolutely no problems with downing another Growler or two of this beer.
Drink Florida Craft,
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