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Boak & Bailey's Beer Blog - Writing about beer and pubs since 2007
Illustration by Robert Wykes from What’s Yours?*(1938). They’re laughing because ordering ‘bitter and mild’ is a faux pas — it should always be ‘mild and bitter’. We haven’t hosted the monthly beer blogging Session since 2008 and, noticing that there was still a vacancy for 6 June with only weeks to go, decided it was time for another go.

The topic we’ve chosen is traditional*beer mixes.
In his 1976 book*Beer and Skittles early beer writer*Richard Boston lists several:

  • Lightplater –*bitter and light ale.
  • Mother-in-law — old and bitter.
  • Granny*— old and mild.
  • Boilermaker —*brown and mild.
  • Blacksmith*–stout and barley wine.
  • Half-and-half –*bitter and stout, or bitter and mild.

We’d like you to drink one or more from that list and write about it on Friday 6 June… and that’s it.
We’re deliberately aiming for something broad and accessible, but there is one rule — no ‘beer cocktails’! It’s been done, for starters. So, mix two beers, not four; and steer clear of syrups, spirits, flavourings and crushed ice.
If you need further inspiration…

  • Try ordering them in a pub — do bar staff still*know the ropes?
  • Use your own sources to find a traditional mix not on Boston’s list, e.g. Ram’n’Spesh in Young’s London pubs.
  • Make the same mix with several different beers — are there rules for the optimal Granny?
  • Experiment — Blacksmith IPA with black IPA, anyone?

And here’s a bit more food for thought, from T.E.B. Clarke’s What’s Yours?*(1938):
If, as usually occurs, you have found bitter too bitter and mild too sweet (as well as too uneconomic), you might well resort to “mild and bitter”…. Should you have discovered that you like Burton, or “old”, except for its slightly metallic flavour — another verdict common among beginners — make “B.B.” your next order.
Let us know when your post is up either by commenting here, emailing us at, or Tweeting at us.
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