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My first pint of mild; views.

IT was very sad to read of the impending demise of one of my favourite tipples - Ansells Mild.

In truth both Ansells and M&B Mild have been increasingly difficult to find locally, although they are readily available in many social clubs and British Legion clubs.

I can still recall my first pint of mild. It was the summer of 1959 and a boiling hot day. My task that day was to hump an over-sized bag of carpenter's tools round Knowle. We reached the High Street at lunch time; my mentor pushed me into the Red Lion, hid me in a far corner, for I was underage, and disappeared to the bar. He returned with three pints of mild. One he gave to me, saying: "Get that down you son."

His first didn't touch the sides and the second he savoured. By the bottom of the glass I had acquired a taste. It was the working man's drink - indeed bitter drinkers were considered quite posh.

Of course, none of that foreign, fizzy, rubbish that dominates the tops of bars now existed then.

It was not long ago that I asked a pub manager why he didn't have mild on tap.

"No call for it," was his reply. I think that it is a cop out, for if it was available on the bar it may gain plenty of custom through appreciation of its qualities.

However, a good pint of mild needs a good publican with time to nurture its care. In my opinion that's why mild still thrives in clubs.

My pints of Ansells Mild were often consumed at the long gone Raven pub near my former home at Weoley Castle and the Black Eagle at Hockley, close to my work depot, but I still fondly remember that first taste and a hot day in K nowle.

Robert Betteridge, Kings Heath
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 19, 2012
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