Who: All BAC2 Members
What: Dec. CHRISTMAS PARTY and BROWN BRITISH BEER
When: Sunday, Dec. 1st from 12pm to 4pm (may run longer)
Where: Paul’s home
Here are the events planned: Sample, Discuss, and Educate:
1. We will award the trophies for the beer competition from November.
2. We will discuss next year styles for the year so bring your list of styles for each month with three beers from that style.
3. We will taste the styles of the month.
Bring your family’s and kids. Paul will be supplying the meats of roasted Pork, hot dogs, and sausages. If you want something else, please bring it and you can use the grill. Anyone attending please bring a side dish or desert.
Dec. BROWN BRITISH BEER
-13A. Dark Mild
-13B. British Brown Ale
-13C. English Porter
While Dark Mild, Brown Ale, and English Porter may have long and storied histories, these guidelines describe the modern versions. They are grouped together for judging purposes only since they often have similar flavors and balance, not because of any implied common ancestry. The similar characteristics are low to moderate strength, dark color, generally malty balance, and British ancestry. These styles have no historic relationship to each other; especially, none of these styles evolved into any of the others, or was ever a component of another. The category name was never used historically to describe this grouping of beers; it is our name for the judging category. “Brown Beer” was a distinct and important historical product, and is not related to this category name.
13A. Dark Mild
Overall Impression: A dark, low-gravity, malt-focused British session ale readily suited to drinking in quantity. Refreshing, yet flavorful, with a wide range of dark malt or dark sugar expression.
Aroma: Low to moderate malt aroma, and may have some fruitiness. The malt expression can take on a wide range of character, which can include caramel, toffee, grainy, toasted, nutty, chocolate, or lightly roasted. Little to no hop aroma, earthy or floral if present. Very low to no diacetyl.
Appearance: Copper to dark brown or mahogany color. A few paler examples (medium amber to light brown) exist. Generally clear, although is traditionally unfiltered. Low to moderate off-white to tan head; retention may be poor.
Flavor: Generally a malty beer, although may have a very wide range of malt- and yeast-based flavors (e.g., malty, sweet, caramel, toffee, toast, nutty, chocolate, coffee, roast, fruit, licorice, plum, raisin). Can finish sweet to dry. Versions with darker malts may have a dry, roasted finish. Low to moderate bitterness, enough to provide some balance but not enough to overpower the malt. Fruity esters moderate to none. Diacetyl and hop flavor low to none.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Generally low to medium-low carbonation. Roast-based versions may have a light astringency. Sweeter versions may seem to have a rather full mouthfeel for the gravity.
Comments: Most are low-gravity session beers around 3.2%, although some versions may be made in the stronger (4%+) range for export, festivals, seasonal and/or special occasions. Generally served on cask; session-strength bottled versions don’t often travel well. A wide range of interpretations are possible. Pale versions exist, but these are even more rare than dark milds; these guidelines only describe the modern dark version.
History: Historically, ‘mild’ was simply an unaged beer, and could be used as an adjective to distinguish between aged or more highly hopped keeping beers. Modern milds trace their roots to the weaker X-type ales of the 1800s, although dark milds did not appear until the 20th century. In current usage, the term implies a lower-strength beer with less hop bitterness than bitters. The guidelines describe the modern British version. The term ‘mild’ is currently somewhat out of favor with consumers, and many breweries no longer use it. Increasingly rare. There is no historic connection or relationship between Mild and Porter.
Style Comparison: Some versions may seem like lower-gravity modern English porters. Much less sweet than London Brown Ale.
Characteristic Ingredients: Pale British base malts (often fairly dextrinous), crystal malt, dark malts or dark sugar adjuncts, may also include adjuncts such as flaked maize, and may be colored with brewer’s caramel. Characterful British ale yeast. Any type of hops, since their character is muted and rarely is noticeable.
OG: 1.030 – 1.038
IBUs: 10 – 25
FG: 1.008 – 1.013
SRM: 12 – 25
ABV: 3.0 – 3.8%
Commercial Examples: Banks's Mild, Cain's Dark Mild, Highgate Dark Mild, Brain’s Dark, Moorhouse Black Cat, Rudgate Ruby Mild, Theakston Traditional Mild
Tags: session-strength, dark-color, top-fermented, british-isles, traditional-style, brown-ale-family, malty
13B. British Brown Ale
Overall Impression: A malty, brown caramel-centric British ale without the roasted flavors of a Porter.
Aroma: Light, sweet malt aroma with toffee, nutty, or light chocolate notes, and a light to heavy caramel quality. A light but appealing floral or earthy hop aroma may also be noticed. A light fruity aroma may be evident, but should not dominate.
Appearance: Dark amber to dark reddish-brown color. Clear. Low to moderate off-white to light tan head.
Flavor: Gentle to moderate malt sweetness, with a light to heavy caramel character and a medium to dry finish. Malt may also have a nutty, toasted, biscuity, toffee, or light chocolate character. Medium to medium-low bitterness. Malt-hop balance ranges from even to malt-focused; hop flavor low to none (floral or earthy qualities). Low to moderate fruity esters can be present.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Medium to medium-high carbonation.
Comments: A wide-ranging category with different interpretations possible, ranging from lighter-colored to hoppy to deeper, darker, and caramel-focused; however, none of the versions have strongly roasted flavors. A stronger Double Brown Ale was more popular in the past, but is very hard to find now. While London Brown Ales are marketed using the name Brown Ale, we list those as a different judging style due to the significant difference in balance (especially sweetness) and alcohol strength; that doesn’t mean that they aren’t in the same family, though.
History: Brown ale has a long history in Great Britain, although several different types of products used that name at various times. Modern brown ale is a 20th century creation as a bottled product; it is not the same as historical products of the same name. A wide range of gravities were brewed, but modern brown ales are generally of the stronger (by current UK standards) interpretation. This style is based on the modern stronger British brown ales, not historical versions or the sweeter London Brown Ale. Predominately but not exclusively a bottled product currently.
Characteristic Ingredients: British mild ale or pale ale malt base with caramel malts. May also have small amounts darker malts (e.g., chocolate) to provide color and the nutty character. English hop varieties are most authentic.
Style Comparison: More malty balance than British Bitters, with more malt flavors from darker grains. Stronger than a Dark Mild. Less roast than an English Porter. Stronger and much less sweet than London Brown Ale.
OG: 1.040 – 1.052
IBUs: 20 – 30
FG: 1.008 – 1.013
SRM: 12 – 22
ABV: 4.2 – 5.4%
Commercial Examples: Maxim Double Maxim, Newcastle Brown Ale, Riggwelter Yorkshire Ale, Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale, Wychwood Hobgoblin
Tags: standard-strength, amber-color, top-fermented, british-isles, traditional-style, brown-ale-family, malty
13C. English Porter
Simply called “Porter” in Britain, the name “English Porter” is used to differentiate it from other porters described in these guidelines.
Overall Impression: A moderate-strength brown beer with a restrained roasty character and bitterness. May have a range of roasted flavors, generally without burnt qualities, and often has a chocolate-caramel-malty profile.
Aroma: Moderate to moderately low bready, biscuity, and toasty malt aroma with mild roastiness, and may have a chocolate quality. May also show some non-roasted malt character in support (caramelly, nutty, toffee-like and/or sweet). May have up to a moderate level of floral or earthy hops. Fruity esters moderate to none. Diacetyl low to none.
Appearance: Light brown to dark brown in color, often with ruby highlights when held up to light. Good clarity, although may approach being opaque. Moderate off-white to light tan head with good to fair retention.
Flavor: Moderate bready, biscuity, and toasty malt flavor includes a mild to moderate roastiness (frequently with a chocolate character) and often a significant caramel, nutty, and/or toffee character. May have other secondary flavors such as coffee, licorice, biscuits or toast in support. Should not have a significant burnt or harsh roasted flavor, although small amounts may contribute a bitter chocolate complexity. Earthy or floral hop flavor moderate to none. Medium-low to medium hop bitterness will vary the balance from slightly malty to slightly bitter. Usually fairly well-attenuated, although can be somewhat sweet. Diacetyl moderately-low to none. Moderate to low fruity esters.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Moderately-low to moderately-high carbonation. Light to moderate creamy texture.
Comments: This style description describes the modern version of English porter, not every possible variation over time in every region where it existed. Historical re-creations should be entered in the Historical style category, with an appropriate description describing the profile of the beer. Modern craft examples in the UK are bigger and hoppier.
History: Originating in London around 300 years ago, porter evolved from earlier sweet, Brown Beer popular at the time. Evolved many times with various technological and ingredient developments and consumer preferences driving these changes. Became a highly-popular, widely-exported style in the 1800s before declining around WWI and disappearing in the 1950s. It was re-introduced in the mid-1970s with the start of the craft beer era. The name is said to have been derived from its popularity with the London working class performing various load-carrying tasks of the day. Parent of various regional interpretations over time, and a predecessor to all stouts (which were originally called “stout porters”). There is no historic connection or relationship between Mild and Porter.
Characteristic Ingredients: Grists vary, but something producing a dark color is always involved. Chocolate or other dark-roasted malts, caramel malt, brewing sugars, and the like are common. London-type porters often use brown malt as a characteristic flavor.
Style Comparison: Differs from an American Porter in that it usually has softer, sweeter and more caramelly flavors, lower gravities, and usually less alcohol; the American Porter will also typically have more of a hop character. More substance and roast than a British Brown Ale. Higher in gravity than a dark mild.
OG: 1.040 – 1.052
IBUs: 18 – 35
FG: 1.008 – 1.014
SRM: 20 – 30
ABV: 4.0 – 5.4%
Commercial Examples: Burton Bridge Burton Porter, Fuller's London Porter, Nethergate Old Growler Porter, RCH Old Slug Porter, Samuel Smith Taddy Porter