Sunday, 9 December 2007

Lees GB Mild

I am lucky enough to live within easy reach of this marvellous beer and last night I had three excellent pints of it in my local. It is a former Champion Mild of Britain (2004) but, like mild all over the UK, it is an endangered species. Even in its heartland, the dreaded "smooth" is eating away at it and now it is less common than it used to be. The brewery is taking action. In an effort to stem the tide, the beer will be renamed "Brewer's Dark" from 1st January 2008. I am saddened by this in a way, but the name is unimportant if the beer can gain a wider audience. It will remain, stylistically, a mild. I shall certainly continue to drink it and will continue to press Lees to promote this wonderful beer.

My pints last night certainly lived up to expectation. The beer is dark with faint ruby hues, malty/sweet on the nose and full and satisfying in the mouthfeel. Pulled through a tight sparkler, there is a beautiful, lasting creamy head, great body and condition, an underlying liquorice and chocolate taste and a full, malty finish in which some bitter hops can be detected. If this isn't one of the finest beers brewed in Britain today, I'll eat my hat! I'll be sampling some again today.

Lees GB Mild (GB stands for Greengate Brewery). It is 3.5% ABV and is brewed by J W Lees (Brewers) Greengate Brewery, Middleton


Stonch said...

I think there's some wisdom in renaming dark milds as simply "Dark". As you say, the name is unimportant if it brings more punters to a traditional and enjoyable beer style.

Rednev said...

The following item appeared in the "Southport Champion". As the writer goes on to praise Tetley, the most boring beer in Britain, I have to question his taste, if not his sanity.

"Noticing that the Richmond in Kew had reopened did not, as you might have expected, have me rushing down there.

"If anything is guaranteed to banish my thirst, it is the words: Joseph Holt.

"Holt’s is a Manchester brewery that makes unusually mediocre beer. The brewery took over the Richmond last October and have just finished an extensive makeover.

"While working in Manchester I was often forced, yes forced by twisted arm, to do business in the Holt’s Old Monkey pub and drink their metallic over-bittered brew while trying to keep a smile on my face.

"You see, Holt’s may be a poor beer but it is also the cheapest cask ale by far. Some people swear by its unique taste. Others argue that quantity matters more than quality, so slum it to save coin.

"Holt’s — and its equally unsatisfying cousin JW Lees – is everywhere in Manchester and can lure an unsuspecting drinker in."

I was in the Old Monkey a couple of weeks ago and I thought Holt's a perfectly acceptable, if not exceptional, standard bitter.

Tandleman said...

Hmm. Am I to understand that Holt's have bought a pub in Richmond????

Rednev said...

Sorry for the late reply to your query. Holts has taken over a pub in Southport called the Richmond; it is on Scarisbrick New Road (the Ormskirk road). The only other Manchester ale regularly available in Southport is Robinsons, although Phoenix is a frequent guest beer.