Mild | Surly Brewing Company

very good
61 Reviews
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Brewed by:
Surly Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: English Dark Mild Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by feloniousmonk on 01-20-2008

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 193
Photo of IgneousROX
2.32/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

The palate and finish of this ale are poor. Extremely thin, watery and flat. Flavor does not match the nose (which isn't too bad - chocolate, coffee, roasts) and wrecks the experience. Not a great product from a respected brewer. Pales in comparison quality wise to the rest of the Surly offerings. I realize it's intended as a different beast but let's be blunt and honest - if you tasted this blind you would not reach for it again. Meek would be a better name.

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Photo of corby112
3.04/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden copper color with bright mahogany edges and a two finger off-white head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting cap. Great retention, taking a while to settle with large streaks of soapy lacing clinging to the glass on the way dow.

Somewhat mild aroma with chocolate malt sweetness and a very faint floral hop presence. Earthy, soily hops followed by light toast, caramel and toffee. Not much else happening. True to style but not very exciting.

Light body that's pretty watered down with faint earthy/grassy hop character countered by slightly toasted light malt sweetness. Grass, pine needle and faint resins followed by caramel, toffee and chocolate sweetness. Somewhat true to style but kind of one dimensional and boring. Hops could be stronger for an American interpretation and the mouthfeel and malts presence could be more interesting for a British version, especially on cask. Unfortunately, this is caught somewhere in between. Not bad, but I wouldn't order this again.

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Photo of craytonic
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draft at Churchkey DC

Appearance: brown pour with decent head and lacing

Smell: toasted malt, breat and biscuits.

Taste: Similar to the aroma, although a bit sharp and chocolatey. Slightly watery

Mouthfeel: thin, not much substance here

Overall: not particularly impressive, although nice it is 4.20%. Would potentially be better on cask.

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Photo of kajerm
3.53/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Hopleaf-- I was looking for Furious, but I won't turn my nose up at this either.

Pours gold and slightly cloudy with a finger and a half of very fine carbonation. The aroma is floral, herbal hops, much more British than American (which is fitting, I guess, for a bitter.) The flavor opens up with light bready/grainy malts, with a thin mid-palate and a short and strongly herbal hoppy finish with mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is quite light and highly carbonated; fitting for the style, but not my personal preference. Drinkability is excellent, this is a true session beer in the original English sense of the word.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.54/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad dark mild, I think we need more beers if this style out there, but this one just really didn't speak to me. Seemed a bit like a watery brown ale, as the chocolate malt and sweetness was there, but there really is very little going on with the yeast, and despite some English type hops as it finishes, I was left a bit underwhelmed by this. Pretty one dimensional flavor, and there is no body at all. Carbonation was way too light too. It was boring, but it tasted good enough to drink a whole one. Surly makes some amazing beers, fantasy land stuff, pentagram and todd the axe man are some of the best in the United States, but just like happened when I went to Russian river, some of the beers you don't hear about, you really don't hear about of a reason. It shocks me these guys could make such a pedestrian beer, but they had several of them in there with the rock stars...

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Photo of Barnoloid
3.61/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Replicates a true British session ale style. Pure malt based brown/caramel hued ale. Some english toffee notes, with minimally noticed aroma. Medium-light mouthfeel, absolutely a beer to take down midweek.

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Photo of Mdog
3.63/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Happy Gnome.

Appearance: Clear brown, with a good sized head, good lacing as I drank.

Smell: Bready, biscuits.

Taste: Biscuits and toasted bread with a touch of tea-like bitterness. Reminds me of a very light octoberfest beer.

Mouthfeel: Light, but not watery.

Drinkability: Goes down easy, definitely sessionable. It would be interesting to have a keg of this at a party instead of Miller Lite.

Went over to the Gnome to try Surly's latest. I've never had a mild before (since FFF's Pride and Joy isn't really a mild), so this was a new experience. It was pretty good, and I definitely could have had several if I didn't have other things to do. I've heard milds are even better on cask, that would be interesting to have with this beer.

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Photo of ChopperSmith
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from tap at Brit's Pub in Minneapolis into a standard clear pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear dark amber with thin white foam that faded fast and left minimal lacing.

Smell: Sweet malts, toffee, caramel with a little hops underneath. Has a good welcoming smell.

Taste: All about the darker malts with this one. Slightly sweet with big malty and biscuit flavors. Some brown sugar and caramel in the mix, as well as a little hops bite for balance. A good hearty malt flavor to this one.

Feel: Light to medium body with soft carbonation. Finishes smooth and a bit dry.

Overall: Good flavors with a low ABV makes this a great session beer. A good interpretation of the style. The extra hops flavors balance the big malts and make it a great easy-drinking brew.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.71/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served in a shaker pint glass at Beer Market - Schaumburg.

Gotta start the night off mildly, amiright? This stuff pours a slightly murky sienna topped by a half-finger of light khaki foam. The nose comprises biscuits, light nuts, mild grass, and a kiss of honey. The taste brings in more of the same, with a stronger contingent of nuts and an addition of dark greens. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a thickly fluid feel. Overall, a nice little mild. I'd probably like it better on cask or something, but here it's still pretty tasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of MPLS
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think when reviewing beers that have 4.2% in mind you certainly have to keep the style in mind. This was had at a Surly event that included a sample of the mystery cask beer - which turned out to be a scotch ale.

A: Brown bodied with red accents. A light brown head that wasn't there for long as the bar tender handed my the pint glass.

S: The nose of this beer was primarily malt, caramel with a sliver of cocoa. What a well mannered boy, but please give me more.

T: There is a lot of flavor for being just 4.2% ABV. The caramel/cocoa that I smelled in the nose is evident in the taste with the caramel dominating most of the flavor. There is a coffee like bitterness to this beer, rather earthy. The finish doesn't linger, sort of reminds me of a mild cocoa cereal.

M: Appropriate for the style - light-medium bodied.

D: This beer has session written all over it, but in Surly's case I'd more towards the Hell especially in the summer months. A good job of creating flavor from a low alcohol beer.

I wonder what will come of this cask scotch ale sample I had?

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Photo of mnstorm99
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blue Nile (thanks fm)

Clear brown pour with a small white head that seemed to disappear quickly, but not completely.
Soft aromas of nutty malts and a touch of weak floral hops.
Taste is a Mild in the truest sense. Not much hops there (like it should be). Nutty malts dominate a chocolate buiscut background.
Overall, this is a little over carbonated. Not much aroma but a good beer. Very drinkable, but let it rest it gets better with time in the glass.

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Photo of gatornation
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ Buster's

A- pours a clear light mahogany color with a small tan head that settles to a whispy collar

S- roasted malts , toffee

T-followed the nose with hints of coffee and chocalate, some vanilla and burnt meats

M- was thin with low carbonation had a nice roasted flavor that made you want another sip

O- crisp and yet watered down but a brew that you just wanted to drink more of

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Photo of dfried
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A see through brownish toffee color, just off white foamy head. Aroma-light, caramelly brown sugar, notes of vanilla, biscuity malt, light earthy hops. Similar taste, lightly toasted malt, caramel, brown sugar, notes of coco, herbal hops have a little tangy zest and provide some balance. Some fruitiness in the aftertaste reminisant of cherries or grapes. Some almost buttery and nutty notes in the finish as well.

Overall: similar to many winter warmers. Light and not all that complex, but great for a malty session beer. It's not just a clever name, if you will.

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Photo of Deuane
3.86/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Clear ruby brown with a thin light tan head. Some lacing.

S-A bit of sweet malt but not much else, very pedestrian.

T-Pleasant biscuity malt flavours with a lovely dry finish.

M-Medium light body. Very smooth transitioning to an astringent finsih., a session brew from Surly...wait, did I just see a pig fly past me?!

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Photo of plfahey
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Grumpy's in Roseville, 3/24/11.

Appearance-Dark Brown with garnet highlights. Brilliant clarity. Modest off-white head with good retention.

Aroma-Malt-light coffee roast, toasted bread crusts, hint of chocolate, and light oaty aroma. Very faint earthy spicy hops. Some secondary biscuit and bread notes as well.

Flavor-Malt palate similar to the aroma-light roast, coffee, faint chocolate, and bread crusts. A little bit of acrid malt in the finish along with medium low earthy hop flavors. Finish is dry from low hop bitterness and acidic roast.

Mouthfeel-Medium light body with moderate carbonation. Not bad, but a little thin-this would probably be excellent on cask.

Not bad, but like I said, a little thin on the palate. Milds were meant to be served from a cask, and this beer would certainly benefit from that treatment. Nonetheless, quite drinkable and at 4% alcohol, this is a pint you could stick with all night.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Grand Central Cafe in St. Paul on 4 April 2014.

Pours clear medium brown with orange tinges. One finger of off-white yellowish head, okay retention and lacing. Not bad, not amazing.

Smell is a little thin. Faint malts, like toasted wood, a touch of biscuit, and a light airy high-nose smell that I can't pin down.

Taste is rich and smooth. Malty, toasted, a bit of brown sugar. It's subtle, but I really like it.

Feel is excellent. Light body, medium-low carbonation that provides tingle up-front before relaxing to give the flavors the freedom to express themselves. IMO, high carbonation works well with robust flavors, and subtle flavors do better with lower carb. This definitely exemplifies that idea.

One of my favorite (non-sour) session beers. Smooth, subtle, flavorful, and well-crafted.

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Photo of nbeattie
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer is fairly drinkable and does have a dark, coffee-like malt base. It does seem slightly watery but that helps it be drinkable past the first beer. Despite the flavor however, it is NOT brewed with coffee at all says Surly's own Omar. It makes for a good chance of pace beer if you're looking to switch from most of Surly's other stronger beers.

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Photo of evanlarkin
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark, brown on the edges. If there was any significant head, I missed it (was sitting away from the bar, and they made sure I had a full pint).

Malty, not super sweet, but a nice smell. Roasted barley for sure, and maybe some dryish smelling caramel?

Not too sweet, not too dry. a little toasty. No real hops, but very malty.

Mouthfeel: Medium body and heavy.

Drinkability: Good, but I don't know if it should be considered a session beer. I could see myself drinking way more Furious, though Mild would probably be a better decision as far as the ABV goes. A great high-taste, low alcohol sipper for a designated driver.

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Photo of Maerzen
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted this new beer from Surly at the release party at the Happy Gnome. Amber/Red in color with a little foam and touch of lacing. Very light on the tongue. Nice gentle balance of malt and hops with neither taking presidence. Not too carbonated. Great flavor and, as a session, perfect for enjoying more then two.

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Photo of Mistofminn
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apparently this style, while not sounding very exotic, is extremely hard to come by in the states. I jumped at the chance to knock this style off my list, and who better to brew it than Surly?

The beer is brown colored with ruby highlights when backlit. A light khaki head is served with the brew, but doesn't stick around for very long. Doesn't leave a ton of lacing, but there is some. Looks like a tasty beer, but the lack of head and retention knock down the score for me. Maybe I'm being too harsh and my standards are unrealistic to the style, I guess I'll have to try more of the style to find out.

The nose comes right out with the caramel malt. Sort of sweet, but earthy at the same time. Definitely malty, with little to no hop presense.

Tastes mild and subdued, but hey what did you expect. I wasn't expecting a palate blaster so this is a nice surprise. Sweet malts and earthy tones blend well nicely with subtle hints of cocoa and toffee. A biscuity maltiness dominates.

Light and crisp, lighter than I expected. I know it's a mild, but it looks heavier than it actually is. Drinkability is pretty good.

This one is hard to judge. I'm a huge Surly fanboy, and maybe they are trying to make a more approachable crossover brew. If thats the angle, they have succeeded ten-fold. This is a great tasting, easy drinking, sessionable dark mild. For my intro to the style, I was impressed and enjoyed it.

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Photo of blackenmn
3.97/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Served into a pint glass via cask:

Appearance:Served a light brown/amber with a very dense creamy head with plenty of retention. Not the most appealing color in the world but the head made up for that.

Smell:Smelled of caramel, citrus, and definite cinnamon like spice on the nose. Light and pleasing.

Taste:Tasted of caramel, sweetened coffee, and light citrusy hop bitterness. There was enough going un to make this alot more enjoyable than I expected.

Mouthfeel:Pretty light bodied brew, almost watery. Light with a bit of creaminess probably due to taking in the foamy head which stuck around on this until the glass was empty.

Drinkability:Extremely drinkable. I could definitely enjoy a few of these on cask. Plenty of subtle character to this. Sweeter and thinner than I expected. Happy to have it on cask, not sure I'd enjoy this as much at much cooler of a temp.

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Photo of tempest
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stub and Herbs, possibly the last Mild tap in the cities.

Basically and big-flavored beer with great drinkability. The aroma is pretty subtle, with toffee and roasted-caramel malts. That same caramel makes up the main flavor, with lighter caramel and toffee around it. As it fades into the aftertaste, the malt continues to develop turns into a creamier candy flavor. If I wasn't on a mission to try other new beers, I'd be ordering a second and third pint. Just like Surly's Bitter Brewer, it makes a lot of flavor out of a litter grain and then develops as you drink it.

Thank you Surly.

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Photo of morimech
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mild are few and far between, this is actually a quite flavorful and robust example at a reasonable ABV. I think the ABV could even be lowered a bit more to make it a true session ale. I want this more available.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear mahogany brown with a nice little off-white head, stays foamy with some decent lacing. After warming a bit, the aroma comes out more, malts are prominent in caramel, bready and biscuity tones, some faint herbal hop hints, still fairly faint, but nice. The taste is a little more broad, but still fairly modest, biscuit and caramel malts, Earl Gray tea, a sense of hops but nothing finite, just flirting impressions. The mouth is very smooth, a very subtle carbonation, a slightly dry finish, a session beer if there ever was one. I downed two of these in rather short time (encouraged by the release of Two), and could imagine doing so often. Also, I would love, LOVE, to see this on cask. That would truly be fantastic. As it stands, i fine brew, out of the blue, for the Surly crew.

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Photo of garymuchow
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at World Street Kitchen
Dark brown leaning more towards blacks than reds. 1/4 to 1/2 inch head that settled out rather quickly.
Nice soft malt character with minimal hop character.
Taste is like a light well done english brown ale. Nice malt character and minimal sweetness. Soft balancing hopping. Fast finish.
Appropriately light body with ample carbonation.
Nice drink that went well with the food. Refreshing and tasteful. Acceptable bold for style.

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Mild from Surly Brewing Company
3.99 out of 5 based on 193 ratings.
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