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I've always been a bit of a contrarian. Swimming against the tide even when that meant certain drowning. That's how my relationship with Mild began.

I think it was a letter in What's Brewing, back in the dark days of the mid-1970s that prompted it. Someone taking a writer to task for assuming the only cask beer was Bitter. What about Mild?

I can remember asking my brother, "What is this thing called Mild Ale?" I was young, naive and pretty cluseles. My brother was scarcely better informed. He could come up with an answer: "Mild is dark." That did me for a while.

I have a natural inclination to underdogs. Mild as a style under stress immediately appealed. That's how my love began.

As I've matured and changed, so have my ideas about Mild. I know how many different forms it's taken. Twisting and turning to fit in my the demands of the day.

I've drunk so many different beers and different styles since the 1970s. But I still love Mild. Admittedly more the 19th-century style ones nowadays.

Maybe Mild is going to do a Milk Stout. Become so out of fashion it can swing back into style again.

I'm old enough to have seen so much weirdness that I don't rule anything out.