English mild ales are a style that never really caught on with American beer drinkers, or at least they haven’t yet and I am not holding my breath waiting for that to change. Mild ales are a version of the English brown ale that keeps the malt forward profile but has a lighter body and lower alcohol. Most American beer drinkers are obsessed with extremes, IPAs with huge doses of hops, aggressive sours and high gravity imperial stouts dominate the marketplace and the crowd-sourced beer rankings. As the weather turns cooler I like to mix in a heavy rotation of malt forward beers, but there are many occasions that call for a lower alcohol beverage. While American brewers make plenty of session IPAs and light lagers, there are very few low ABV malt forward beers. A very good option that fits into this category is Campout Mild from Bog Iron Brewing. I’m pretty sure Campout Mild is the only regularly produced local version of an English mild, feel free to correct me if you know another. It is available on a rotating basis on draft and in 500 mL bottles.
Bog Iron Campout Mild pours cola brown with a minimal white head. The aroma is full of toasted and roasted malts. The flavor is malt forward, notes of toffee, chocolate and bread crust. This is complemented by just a hint of earthy hops. Campout Mild is very light and easy to drink, super sessionable at 3.5% ABV. The finish is clean with a little lingering malt flavor. This style is never going to get the buzz of hop-bomb IPAs but sometimes it’s nice to have a full-flavored malt forward beer that isn’t going to put you under the table, and Campout Mild definitely fits the bill. I would love to try this beer on cask some time. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
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