Tuesday, 9 June 2009
Desert Island Beer #2 - Harvey's XX mild
This one was a bit of a surprise to me. I'm not normally one for drinking mild. Occasionally I'll have some at beer festivals if I'm wanting to start slowly but generally I think milds are weak, sweet and dark and that's about it.
Harvey's mild however is one of those beers that on a memorable occasion was just so good that it's got a permanent place on my desert island beers list. It may help that the memorable occasion was in the sampling room at the brewery. Harvey's Brewery is a magnificent Victorian tower brewery, known to the locals as Lewes Cathedral. Tours are usually conducted by the head brewer himself, Miles Jenner. You can see him in action by following a link from an earlier post I made.
After most brewery tours you get an hour's free drinking and it's my Standard Operating Procedure to start on the weakest beer before working my way up through the rest to the strongest and then guzzling as much of that as I can before being booted out. As per the SOP this time I started on the mild, which was very nice, before working up though Pale Ale, Best and Old Ale to Armada Ale. All good beers but I couldn't get away from the hard to believe fact that the mild was simply outstanding. So the Armada was seen off after only a half and it was back to the mild for the rest of the session. It was weak, sweet and dark ... and delicious.
I have had it since and it's never been as good, but I guess that's cask beer for you, the variation in consistency may mean that sometimes you get served vinegar but it also means sometimes you get served nectar.