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27-10-2015, 06:26
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Boak and Bailey reminded me of a source I’d neglected with a recent tweet. The Brewery Manual, a trade publication full of factual information. Right down my street.

Luckily, I could recall where I’d stashed my copies. Even better, one was from the 1950’s, the current focus of my obsession. I quickly got scanning. In particular a section I hadn’t noticed until Boak and Bailey pointed it out: a list of beer brand names.

Having spent a decade or more picking through analyses and looking at labels, most names aren’t new to me. A couple I’ve even drunk. Amongst the draught beers there are a few unfamiliar ones. And even amongst those I knew, there are those I would struggle to pin a style on.

I was slightly surprised to see so many branded Mild ales. Brewers often gave their Bitter a fancy name like London Pride, while imaginatively marketing their Mild as Mild. I will add one caveat: some of the classifications are rather, well, eccentric. Trubrown – Truman’s Brown Ale – is called a “Dark Ale” for some reason.

The beers come from all over the country. I was particularly surprised to see some from areas not traditionally that strong on Mild, such as South Yorkshire. Other points? Interesting to see Heavy used as a term for Mild. Plymouth Heavy is the only example I’d ever come across before.

I’d always considered Old Harry a Strong Brown Ale. Though it was parti-gyled with Mild. And there were several other beers called Amber Ale in the table, but only this one is classed as Mild. Not the most consistent system they employed.

Anyway, here’s the table:

Branded Mild in 1953


Everards Brewery
Old Bill's Brew
Best Mild

Higson's Brewery
Best mild and draught

W. Butler & Co.
Bottled Mild Ale

S. A. Brain & Co.
Red Dragon
Dark Mild

Fuller, Smith & Turner
Draught Mild

B. Cunningham
Golden Malt

H. & G. Simonds

H. & G. Simonds
London Heavy

Tennant Brothers

Thomas Ramsden & Son
Stone Trough

Ind Coope & Allsopp
John Bull
Mild Ale

Nottingham Brewery
Mild Ale

Richard Whitaker & Sons
Strong Shire
Mild Ale

W. Butler & Co.
Amber Ale
Mild Ale

Fuller, Smith & Turner
Old Harry
Mild Ale, bottled

Norman & Pring
City Special
Mild Ale, bottled

Taylor, Walker & Co.
Main Line
Mild Ale, Cask

Buckley's Brewery
Stradey Ale
Mild, bottled

Duncan, Gilmour & Co.
Crown Ale
Mild, bottled

Timothy Taylor & Co.
No. 1 Mild Ale

Wolverhampton & Dudley
Strong Mild Ale

Duncan Gilmour & Co.
Strong Mild draught

Duncan Gilmour & Co.
Strong mild, bottled

G. Ruddle & Co.
Old Bob
Strong Mild, bottled


Brewery Manual 1953-1954, pages 382 - 394.

Any guesse whjich is the one I've drunk?

Plenty more still where this came from.

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